statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 19 JUNE: The Tourism Ministry will convene a meeting with state tourism ministers next month to coordinate steps to ensure safety and security of tourists. This comes after the spate of crimes against foreigners.
Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said: “There have been certain sad incidents which are unfortunate and not good for the country. It hampers the growth of tourism.”
Acknowledging that such incidents can have a negative fallout on tourism, he said: “We are convening a meeting of tourism ministers of all states early next month to discuss ways to ensure safety and security of tourists.”
He said growth of this sector can be crucial for eradication of poverty as it leads to job creation in a major way. Mr Chiranjeevi said: “One job is being created on every 30 foreign tourists visiting the country.”
He said the tourism sector contributed 6.8 per cent to GDP in the last fiscal. Tourism was also responsible for earning Rs 94,487 crore as foreign exchange last fiscal.
The sector witnessed growth of 4.3 per cent last year as 65,77,745 foreigners visited India against 63,09,222 tourists the previous year. He said that there is potential for further growth of the sector.
He said it was being hampered by a number of issues, including lack of proper air connectivity, easy visa services, affordable hotels and cleanliness at tourist spots.