Travel advisories reviewed on India’s behest: tourism minister

December 18th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika SoniNew Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Many countries have reviewed or removed their travel advisories against visiting India in the wake of terrorist attacks after the government took up the matter with them through Indian missions overseas, the Lok Sabha was informed Thursday.Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said despite the advisories, foreign tourist arrivals continued to increase in the last four years.

Giving details, she said in 2005, about 3.92 million people visited the country, while in 2006, the figure saw a 13.5 percent increase with 4.45 million visitors coming to India.

In 2007, about 5.08 million travellers came to India.

This year, she said from January to November, the figure was 4.84 million.

Soni said travel advisories were issued by various countries, from time to time, asking their citizens to avoid travel or to take precautions while travelling to areas in the country which are temporarily disturbed.

India saw a number of terror attacks this year. Following the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attack, countries like the US, Britain and Australia had advised their citizens to avoid travelling to India. But later some of them reviewed it and just asked their citizens to exercise precaution.

Soni told the house that the issue was taken up by the tourism ministry while addressing international summits, including the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Executive Council meeting in Jeju in South Korea.

UNWTO is a United Nations agency that deals with tourism and compiles world tourism rankings.

“The issue has been taken up through the Indian missions overseas. Some countries have consequently reviewed and either removed or down graded the advisories issued by them,” Soni said.

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