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Govt targets 40 million foreign tourist inflow, 100 million jobs by 2022

The Union tourism ministry has ambitious plans to almost triple foreign tourist footfalls in India over the next five years.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2017 09:33 IST
Tourism,Foreign tourists,Jobs
Union minister for tourism KJ Alphons talking with an artist at Paryatan Parv in New Delhi on Monday.(HT Photo)

The Union tourism ministry on Monday announced key initiatives to boost annual foreign tourist traffic to the country from the present 14.4 million to 40 million in next five years.

These included plans for setting up of a national tourism board, facilitation centres at the key airports for foreign tourists, make the world heritage monuments more attractive places, ease visa norms and invite private sector to adopt monuments to increase facilities there.

“We have set an aim of providing 100 million jobs from current 43 million through the tourism sector and 40 million foreign tourists into India in the next five years,” Union tourism minister KJ Alphons announced at a press conference.

“We are aiming for the foreign tourist inflow to be increased to 40 million from 14.4 international tourists coming to India at present annually,” the minister said.

Tourism secretary Rashmi Verma who also addressed reporters, said, “We are now looking at creating better facilities at the airport so that they get clearance faster, they don’t have to stand in queues. We are also setting up facilitation centres at some of the key airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. to facilitate the people who are coming on e-visas.”

While announcing other initiatives, the tourism minister said, “There was a suggestion that we could set up a national tourism board. We will certainly look into it. We will have to take it to a higher level of decision making on what is possible.”

Read more: Tourism ministry policy to standardise homestays by October end

Officials said that the ministry was trying to ensure that India’s world heritage sites and monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India actually become tourist draws with world-class infrastructure facilities.

“We have launched a new scheme called Adopt-a-Monument, in which we have offered select ASI monuments and the World Heritage sites for adoption by the industry or the public sector for setting up basic amenities like clean toilets, clean drinking water, cleanliness in and around the premises and some other facilities,” Verma said.

She said that seven sites have already been selected by the public sector and the private sector for adoption.

In another event on Monday, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said that the government aimed at increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP from 9% to 18% the in next five years.

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 09:16 IST