India to double tourism in five years

NEW DELHI, 22 August 2019: India’s Minister of Tourism reminded tourism ministers from states across the nation that doubling tourist arrivals over the next five years remains a national priority.

If the minister achieves the target it would lift the annual tourist arrival to around 23 million by 2025. In 2018, India recorded 10.56 million foreign tourist arrivals, an increase of 5.2 % compared with 2017

“All of us together have to make concerted efforts to realise the Prime Minister’s dream of doubling tourists, both foreign and domestic, over the next five years,” said Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel.

Minister of State for Culture & Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel with Tourism Ministers of States/UTs at National Conference of Tourism Ministers earlier this week.

Held in New Delhi, 20 August, the conference was attended by Tourism Ministers from 19 States with secretaries of tourism and senior officials from the states and union territories attending sessions to discuss issues related to the development and promotion of Tourism.

The Union Minister urged state tourism leaders to deliver stronger coordination between and states and the Union Ministry to increase tourist arrivals to India.

Highlighting the importance of perception, he added: “We need to change the perception of India in the minds of foreign tourists  to yield good results for the promotion of tourism.”

He asked the states to organise surveys to understand the perceptions of foreign tourists regards India.

The Tourism Minister also launched the Hindi version of the new Incredible India portal during the conference and confirmed that Arabic, Chinese and Spanish versions of the new website would be launched worldwide next month.

The new Incredible India website was introduced 14 June last year, and since its launch, the website attracted 8,584,928 visitors including 6,531,722 Unique Visitors as of 31 July 2019.

Addressing participants, Shri Patel urged all states and union territories to adopt the UNESCO principals and rules when making proposals for heritage sites to be included on the World Heritage list.

“We have great potential to gain recognition for our natural sites, so we should focus on adventure tourism to attract more tourists to this sector.”

To promote night tourism, the Culture Ministry has decided to open 10 historical monuments until 2100 to attract more tourists and reduce footfall during the peak daylight hours.

The Tourism Minister also launched the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) portal during the conference. The certification programme is a digital initiative of the Ministry of Tourism to encourage citizens to join the tourism industry. The online learning programme awards certificates on completion of the training modules. Successful students become Certified Tourist Facilitators of the Ministry of Tourism.