Government to attact more tourists to northeast: Minister

November 19th, 2011 - 12:03 am ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Nov 18 (IANS) The tourism ministry has proposed a Rs.600 crore package under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) for developing tourism infrastructure to attract more tourists in the northeastern region, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay said here Friday.

“As tourism sector is one of the major components of the sector in the region, its growth targets has to be linked to the growth of the service sector therefore, we have sought Rs.600 crore from the 12th five year plan,” Sahay told journalists on the sidelines of the 2nd Inter State Regional Conference of tourism ministers of Eastern and Northeastern states held here Friday.

He said all the northeast states are being asked to develop the sector so that tourist flow into the region is doubled from the current figure.

The Tourism Ministry has targeted inflow of tourist in the country to 73 million by 2016 from 2010’s figure of 53 million.

“The current figures are just not acceptable for a country like India we must increase the inflow of tourist,” Sahay stated.

Exhorting the tourism ministers of eastern and northeastern states to make tourism their top most “political and economic agenda”, the minister said, “No other sector can generate as much jobs as tourism can and many states are not realizing this.”

“The tourism ministry has already taken several initiatives towards promotion and marketing the tourism development products of the region. We have also taken various steps to improve tourism facilities in the N-E Region, especially rural tourism hub like the bed and breakfast scheme and rural handicrafts,” the minister informed.

“There are plans to hold a Northeast Tourism Mart where tour operators from all over the country can meet where states of the region can showcase the region heritage, culture together with modern amenities,” he said.

Sahay called upon the government machinery of the Eastern and North Eastern States to be aggressive while marketing their State so as to attract more investors adding that -tourism including eco-tourism in these State have a huge potential to grow by leaps and bounds.

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