Claiming that there had shown phenomenal growth in the arrival of foreign tourists in the current season in the country, Union Tourism Additional Secretary Girish Shankar has said that a 16.9 per cent growth had already registered in till August than the previous season.
‘This year has shown a phenomenal growth in August 2014. We saw a growth of tourist arrivals 16.9 per cent and in the previous month also about nine per cent and this calendar year the overall growth is 7.4 per cent so far till August as compared to the World Economic period of 4.6 per cent. Last year we have achieved only 4.5 per cent and this year is much better,’ he told UNI last night.
Mr Shankar, who is in Kochi to take part in the valedictory function of the Kerala Travel Mart 2014, also disclosed that ‘in terms of revenue, we take foreign exchange earning in dollar in August has gone up to 26.8 per cent and it will gone up substantially and we hope that the growth will sustain.’
Regarding the steps being taken by the centre to promote the tourism industry, the Additional Secretary said ‘apart from participating in all these places, now we are coordinating different ministries and the cultural ministry, we have decided that to hold India festivals and hold Food festivals and our efforts are also to conducting road shows along with that, so there is a synergy in that.’
Mr Shankar also said that the government was also concentrating on some of the markets and were trying to do a massive and aggressive marketing on those countries, particularly where which the country were aiming at and working for that. Regarding the new initiatives by the centre to attract more tourists in various areas, he said the government was planning to promote various tourism activities like health, wellness and adventure tourism.
‘So far adventure tourism we need connectivity, the satellite phone and we are working for that,’ he added. Regarding visa on arrivals itself, he said the government was planning to introduce the electronic visas. In the first phase it would include 40 countries and the government was hoping that it would be operational by the calendar year itself. ‘The introduction of electronic visas will have a great impact on tourism arrivals, he added.
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