With a huge Indian Diaspora across a number of countries in the world, India has a golden opportunity to reap rich harvest from “Roots Tourism”.
As everybody knows, there is hardly any country without at least a moderate population of PIOs (People of Indian Origin). They are present in the USA, Canada, Europe, Caribbean Island countries (notably Trinidad &Tobago and Guyana), South East Asia (such as Singapore and Malaysia), African nations (like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, etc), Mauritius in the Indian Ocean region, Fiji in the South West Pacific region, and so on. And many of them have been staying there for various generations. This wide-spanning Diaspora provides India with a strong potential tourism market, and the Union Tourism Ministry may chalk out a specialized campaign to tap the same.
Personally I feel that the emphasis should be given on targeting the Indian origins in Mauritius, Fiji, Caribbean Island countries, African countries and South East Asia, with the PIOs in Europe, the USA and Canada being given somewhat less priority. Why?
Actually, the PIOs in the USA, Canada and Europe are usually the ones who have been there for at most two or three generations. They still have contacts with their relatives back in India, and occasionally visit their homeland. The concept of Roots Tourism will not be fascinating to them, as they do not feel themselves to be detouched from their ancestral roots in that sense.
But the PIOs of countries like Mauritius, Fiji, Caribbean Island countries, African countries and South East Asia are usually the ones who have been staying their for several generations, and have completely lost touch with their relatives back home. So they do not have any family ties that can encourage them to visit their original homeland. And the only way to enthuse them to visit India is to generate in them an emotional urge to visit their ancestral roots, something that the Roots Tourism concept is precisely aimed at.
I understand that the Bihar government has already launched a Roots Tourism campaign in countries like Mauritius and Fiji, where the PIOs mostly comprise Bihari origins. I do not know whether any other state government has launched any such initiative. Nor I am aware whether the Indian government has any such plan. If it does not, then I feel it will not be a bad idea to go for such a plan at the earliest.