Against the backdrop of incidents of crime against tourists in Goa, Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja on Saturday said that a helpline for tourists would soon be launched both to know about a tourist destination or to be used in distress.
The minister announced the plan at the International Buddhist Heritage Conference in Nalanda, Bihar.
According to a tourism ministry official, “The helpline will have a dual function. Any tourist, whether domestic or international, can call on this helpline and get information about a place that they intend to visit. Besides this, they can also call when in distress or in an emergency for immediate help.”
Selja, speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, said: “In December 2009, the foreign tourist arrivals in India saw a 21 percent increase over the same period in 2008. The future looks bright and we expect buoyancy to return to the sector soon.”
She added that religious tourism has withstood the storm of recession in India and the ministry is taking up initiatives to promote this through initiatives like a train that travels through key Buddhist sites.