Assam Tourism has once again been slammed on social media for using unrelated photographs to promote tourism in the state.
Awesome Assam published a series of images starting from tea gardens to river rafting to woo the tourists. However, these images appeared to be collected from the internet, which are either from different places or “too old” to be relevant today.
In a post to promote Kaziranga National Park and its jeep safari, Awesome Assam uploaded photos of white-coloured Maruti Gypsy vehicles with tourists.
“White-coloured Maruti Gypsy vehicles are not allowed inside the park. Awesome Assam shouldn’t have used photos which are more than 15 years old to promote tourism,” wrote journalist Abhijit Gogoi on Facebook.
“Go rafting at the subcontinent’s widest river- the Brahmaputra, for a truly adrenaline-pumping experience,” Awesome Assam wrote on their Facebook and Twitter posts with a photograph on April 17. This too appeared to be misleading.
“To my knowledge, there is no such facility for river rafting at the Brahmaputra. I don’t know where Assam tourism has started this facility. It’s generally not possible for common tourists to do that in the river Brahmaputra with the 14-feet raft…,” Abhijit Gogoi further wrote.
On March 30, Awesome Assam posted a photo urging the tourists to visit Haflong. However, according to Shutterstock, it’s an image of a tea garden in Kenya.
“Functioning of Assam Tourism requires a serious review! Not to mention the ungratefulness shown towards local photographers whose photos are either stolen by this department or used unacknowledged,” said Udayan Borthakur, a wildlife biologist.
Borthakur, also a renowned wildlife photographer and a filmmaker, further said: “Their (Assam Tourism) integrity, when it comes to use of photos as shown in the post shared here, is always questionable.”
Earlier, the Awesome Assam campaign courted controversy for its use of a “Naturally wild – Kyuki ye Assam hai” campaign involving then brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra.