India has mounted a multi-pronged strategy to boost tourism and it is seeing great results.
Senior officials at a Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) India Chapter and Ministry meeting held on June 27 said that this year, like last year, tourism is looking good for the country.
Rashmi Verma, Tourism Secretary, admitted, however, that there are still some challenges, such as infrastructure, which were being addressed by a top-level panel led by Cabinet Secretary. Verma also spoke of over tourism in some areas and the need for capacity-carrying studies.
Joint Secretary Suman Billa listed steps to enlarge the product base by including cruise tourism and promoting Buddhist destinations in a more vigorous way. Road shows and specific marketing in various regions have also helped.
The e-visa and UDAN scheme to make air travel to more cities easier have been game changers. UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is a regional airport development and “Regional Connectivity Scheme” (RCS) of the Government of India, with the objective of “Let the common citizen of the country fly.” The aim of the scheme is to make air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth, and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of India.
Industry members at the meeting discussed need for better luxury trains and cleaner stations and coaches.
This outlook meeting was the seventh in a series to look at tourism issues. PATA India has taken a lead in this goal, and members are lauding the efforts of the ministry.