John Abraham lends star power to Arunachal Pradesh’s tourism plans

Arunachal Pradesh, the largest of the seven sisters that form the north eastern part of India, has unveiled its strategy to promote and popularise the state’s tourism appeal among a larger audience. The Department of Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, in partnership with Be Viacom18, has roped in actor John Abraham as the brand ambassador for the state.

As reported earlier, BE Viacom18 will work closely with the state government to educate people about the unique highlights and various attractions of Arunachal Pradesh. In order to leverage the state tourism, BE Viacom18 will release a special audio-visual brand film for Arunachal Pradesh tourism that will be reached out to audiences through the network’s broadcast channels. The promotions will also comprise media buys by BE Viacom18 as well as facilitating production houses from Bollywood and other film fraternities to shoot films, music videos, documentaries, television series, reality shows and also explore Strategic Business IP Partnerships on various cultural events in the state.

John Abraham has been associated with the North East region by way of his owning the North East football team. He has also supported the seven sisters through his participation in the ‘Run for North East’, a marathon hosted earlier in January.

Commenting on the partnership with Arunachal Pradesh and roping in John Abraham as the brand ambassador for the state’s tourism, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18, said, “Arunachal Pradesh is a traveler’s paradise and a land of untold tales. In John we have a celebrity who shares our enthusiasm of weaving the stories of the mystical land into a single narrative of ‘Must See, Must Experience’ Arunachal Pradesh tourism. After all a journey is best when it is entertaining!”

Dr Joram Beda, Tourism Secretary, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, added here, “Our focus this year lies in boosting the tourism sector and making Arunachal Pradesh a ‘Must See, Must Experience’ state. For this vision’s success, we need like-minded partners that see and understand our vision and can help us chart this path. We found such a partner in Viacom18, who have helped us get John Abraham, a superstar, an adventurer and a great human being, on board. John has played a pivotal role in promoting North East India, primarily by putting NEUFC on the map of sports. We believe our association with him will strengthen our purpose of putting out our state in the Indian diaspora as a prominent tourist destination.”

Commenting on the ways in which BE Viacom18 is strategising to promote Arunachal Pradesh as a tourist destination, Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, Consumer Products and Integrated Network Solutions, Viacom 18, said, “We will use our entire Viacom18 media network’s strength across TV, digital and hopefully in the future even on live and experiential business, where we can be part of the tourism ecosystem of Arunachal. It is the land of festivals and concerts and music is in their DNA and it is in ours as well; music, theatres, arts, and using all these three levers, I would want to help promote Arunachal Pradesh as a tourist destination. We will start with a brand campaign that will roll out later in the year with John. And subsequent to that, you would see a lot of amplification across our entire network. Thereafter, we are exploring synergies in our music festivals and other live events. So it is a complete ecosystem working where we are creating the plan as well as planning media amplification around it.”

Excited about representing Arunachal Pradesh tourism, John Abraham said, “I am honoured to have been chosen to promote the tourism of Arunachal Pradesh. I have always been fascinated with North East India: each state has its unique beauty, history and culture. It’s a state rich with culture, mysticism, great people and stunning views. When I’m there, all I need is some music, my boots to walk around and a mind free from all worries to be able to embrace the mesmerising beauty of Arunachal Pradesh.”

Meanwhile, on choosing BE Viacom18 to promote the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Dr Joram Beda told AdGully, “First of all, we required a very professional agency that could help us in promoting the tourism potential of Arunachal Pradesh. Before this, we have been doing this independently on various platforms, but then we thought that we should bring the big guns. Viacom18 is a very established brand and company on its own strength. So we thought it trident to bring them on board and they helped us within a short period of time to rope in John Abraham as our brand ambassador. I am very happy with this decision because our tourism policy is also to promote the adventure tourism potential of the state as the first priority. And with John’s image of a youth icon and someone who is very much interested in sports and adventure, it suits well.”


On his expectations from Viacom18, Dr Beda said that in addition to what they had already done, help was expected in terms of promoting the state as a destination for shooting films and television shows. For instance, episodes of MTV shows – ‘Roadies’ and ‘Splitsvilla’ could be shot in Arunachal Pradesh, he added.


According to Dr Beda, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, and heritage tourism are the key focus areas for the Arunachal Pradesh Government. He further said, “We would also like to concentrate on religious tourism. We have Parashuram Kund. It is believed that Parashuram washed away his sins at this Kund in Lohit river of Arunachal Pradesh. And in a way, it could be the next Kumbh of India.”


Speaking on improving infrastructure in the state, Dr Beda informed, “The priority sector for tourism per say will be connectivity. The trans-Arunachal highway is coming up and various sections of the project have been completed. You will be happy to know, if you visit Arunachal now, things have changed a lot. We have world class roads coming up. Not on the entire stretch, but in certain sectors, we expect that the road project will be completed on time. Secondly, improving rail connectivity. We have direct rail connection from Guwahati everyday. And we have weekly AC super-fast train service from New Delhi to Itanagar. Thirdly, from air connectivity point of view, we have daily helicopter services to Itanagar from Guwahati. Thrice a week we have helicopter services in the Kolkata-Guwahati-North Lakhimpur route. In addition, we have two Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) at Pasighat and Ziro. These two are already operational and there are plans to set up more ALGs for instance, at Mechuka, which is an adventure tourism destination. We are also expecting to set up an ALG at Vijaynagar.”



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