Mariellen Ward who runs the award-winning travel site Breathedreamgo, and is a travel enthusiast recently shared her wonderful experience in India on social media. She was the only female passenger while traveling through Madhya Pradesh on an overnight journey on the Narmada Express. All of the men in the compartment showed her great hospitality. They provided Mariellen Ward with water, chai and served poha as breakfast.
I’m a solo female traveler on a train in remote Madhya Pradesh. All of the men in this compartment are taking care of me, making sure I get water, chai, and breakfast — poha in a newspaper packet. Very moving and humbling experience. #IncredibleIndia #HeartofIndia #MPTourism pic.twitter.com/WPmOhXMoYM
— Mariellen Ward (@Breathedreamgo) December 7, 2018
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Travelling through Madhya Pradesh on an overnight journey on the Narmada Express. I’m now alone in a first class compartment and the men in this coach are taking care of me. They’re going out of their way to make sure I get water, chai and a breakfast of poha in a newspaper packet. It’s a very moving and humbling experience that reminds me once again about why I love to travel in India. #solotravel #solofemaletraveler #heartofIndia #MPTourism
Indians are famous for their hospitality because they live by the principle ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which simply means ‘guest is equivalent to God’. Here guests are treated with utmost care and with extreme respect. The Government of India also adopted the same tagline for an advertising campaign on ‘Incredible India’ to spread awareness amongst Indians about tourists and tourism places. Every year lakhs of foreign tourists visit India because it offers rich a cultural experience to tourists. Most of the tourists who visit India leave the country with a positive image of the country, but Indian Media, as well as foreign media, choose to highlight and even create news that paints our country in a bad light. Positive stories about India like the one narrated by Mariellen Ward don’t find any space in any mainstream media outlet.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal retweeted Mariellen Ward’s tweet with a comment. He said, “This is the kind of harmonious environment we aim to foster in our attempt to bring back the charm & nostalgia associated with traveling on Railways.”
This is the kind of harmonious environment we aim to foster in our attempt to bring back the charm & nostalgia associated with traveling on Railways https://t.co/2WJ5xyoZr5
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) December 9, 2018
If one goes through travel site of Mariellen Ward- Breathedreamgo– one would find a lot of positive stories about India. She has spent more than four years in India in total and visited about 18 or 19 states and most of the major tourist attractions, and promotes India through her travel site. This year in November she also received traveller of the year award. She has a better idea of India than most of the media personalities who only work towards promoting a negative image of India at the global level.
In recent years, India’s tourism sector has registered a significant growth mainly because of the government’s efforts and also because of great hospitality which Indian travellers show towards the foreign travellers. The Indian government has taken several initiatives to boost the tourism sector of India. India was ranked 7th among 184 countries in terms of travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2017. The Indian government has also released a fresh category of visa – the medical visa or M visa, to encourage medical tourism. It also launched Incredible India 2.0 campaign in September 2017. In September 2018, the Indian government launched the ‘Incredible India Mobile App’ to help the traveller to India and exhibit major experiences for travelling. The government recently launched ‘Statue of Unity’. It is the tallest statue in the World with a height of 182 meters. It is expected to boost tourism in the country. Since, its inauguration by PM Modi, the Statue has attracted lakhs of visitors. The PTI reported Sanatan Pancholi, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited’s manager saying, “Gujarat was witnessing a 17 per cent year-on-year growth in its tourists footfall which reached five crore last year and now with the addition of Statue of Unity and other tourist sites, the state will touch 7.5 crore footfalls by 2020. The state govt is also planning to launch new marketing campaigns for the domestic visitors.” Recently, it was reported that the Statue of Unity is attracting 30,000 visitors per day.