India developing niche tourism: SeljaJuly 1st, 2009 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Caravan and heliport tourism are among the “niche products” India will offer visitors as its tourism sector tries to cope with setbacks due to 26/11 and global recession, Tourism Minister Kumari Selja said Wednesday.
Listing out her 100-day agenda, Selja said they were “developing niche tourism products”.
“In many countries, caravan tourism is famous. But India is lagging behind. So we have decided on new policy guidelines to promote caravan tourism and to facilitate the infrastructure required for it,” she told reporters here.
Caravan tourism involves the use of a specially equipped vehicle deployed on a tourist circuit and connecting it by road.
Selja said India has several beautiful places that lack connectivity due to their location and infrastructure problems, “so we have decided to connect those places through helicopters. We will be taking the help of state governments to build helipads. This is known as heliport tourism.
“With a view to promoting tourism in hilly and remote areas, guidelines would be framed to provide central financial assistances to states to construct these helipads at select destinations that have tourism potential,” she said.
The tourism minister said: “Following the Mumbai terror attack in November last year, the tourist arrivals fell down by 10 percent. However, things have started improving and in May 2009, the decline improved to 1.9 percent.”
About 5.36 million foreign tourists visited India in 2008, recording a growth of 5.6 percent over the previous year. But January saw a 17.6 percent dip with only 487,262 foreign tourist arrivals.
In April, some improvement was witnessed, with 370,756 tourists visiting India - a drop of 3.5 percent over the same month of the previous year.
The minister said they are also planning a “new policy guideline” for promoting wellness tourism in India.
“The policy would aim to leverage India’s potential in traditional systems of wellness and medicines like ayurveda, siddha and yoga and project India as a unique destination for spiritual healing,” said Selja, who was flanked by Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed.
She said they would be promoting the concept abroad by organising roadshows, starting with Scandinavian countries in the first phase, from August.
“The ministry has been increasing (the number of) roadshows in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and other countries to attract more people to India and present it as a safe destination,” said Selja, who also holds the housing and poverty alleviation portfolio.
The government will also be focusing on domestic tourism, she said.
“Roadshows would also be organised in collaboration with private sector participation for promotion of domestic tourism in six regions of north, south, west, central, east and northeast,” she said.
She said the ministry is working with the state governments to open tourist resorts in the Maoist affected states of West Bengal, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.
As for the preparation for the Commonwealth Games, which is expected to attract many tourists, Selja said: “We are on track for the games and will be able to meet the demand of 30,000 rooms.”
Selja said the ministry has asked for several concessions from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to give a fillip to the tourism sector.
- Government issues guidelines on niche tourism - Sep 09, 2009
- India to promote caravan, heliport tourism (Lead) - Sep 09, 2009
- India to promote domestic tourism with roadshows, campaigns - Sep 12, 2009
- India to host series of tourism roadshows abroad - Jun 17, 2009
- Commonwealth Games to showcase India: Selja - Nov 12, 2009
- Gypsy travels: Caravan tourism arrives in India - Aug 07, 2010
- Tourism sector gets Rs.1,070 crore - Jul 06, 2009
- Tourism ministry plans more hotel management institutes - Aug 17, 2009
- Tourism gets only a token increase (Lead) - Jul 06, 2009
- Now movies to promote Incredible India abroad - Feb 16, 2012
- Tourism ministry holding roadshows abroad - Aug 03, 2009
- Tourism ministry has no data on pilgrims: Kumari Selja (Spot) - Aug 21, 2012
- Roadshows to attract tourists to India during Commonwealth Games (Lead) - Aug 03, 2009
- India, Cyprus exchange views to promote tourism - Oct 26, 2010
- Selja writes to states to promote safe tourism - Oct 20, 2010
Tags: beautiful places, caravan, global recession, helicopters, heliport, infrastructure problems, kumari, niche products, policy guideline, previous year, setbacks, state governments, terror attack, tourism in india, tourism minister, tourism products, tourism sector, tourist arrivals, tourist circuit, visiting india