Several steps taken to boost tourism : Minister

February 19th, 2009 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Indian government is taking several steps to promote tourism in the country which has taken a knock following the global meltdown and the Mumbai terror attack.
Informing the Lok Sabha Thursday, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Kanti Singh said they have announced various promotional schemes like Visit India Year 2009 to attract tourists to India.

Under this scheme, travellers from abroad who visit India in 2009 will have a chance to get an extra sample of the country’s exotic adventure tourism and sublime eco, rural and wellness tourism in 2010 and 2011 too.

The ministry has accepted that in December last year and in January this year, the foreign tourists arrival dipped due to the global meltdown.

In December 2008, about 521,990 tourists came to India - a 12.5 percent decline compared to December 2007. In January this year, 487,262 travellers came to India, 17.6 percent less compared to the same month of 2008.

Singh said the ministry wrote to state governments Jan 9 to give due consideration to ensuring smoother and seamless travel across states and to ensure the safety and security of tourists.

All these steps, she said, would provide relief to tourism sector in the face of global financial crisis that is affecting the tourism sector adversely.

She said at the meeting of the National Tourism Advisory Council, an advisory body to the ministry, in Dec 15 last year suggestions were made to boost the tourism industry in the aftermath of global economic slowdown and the Nov 26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

During this meeting, the minister said, it was decided to increase incentives for the travel trade, promotion of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) tourism and domestic travel in the country.

Also, trade and media representatives were invited to visit Mumbai and other parts of the country for familiarisation tours, the minister informed the house.

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