India has recorded 6.9 million foreign tourist visits in 2022, a figure that is four times the tourist visit figure before the pandemic.
On Wednesday, this information was revealed by the Union Minister For Culture, Tourism, And Development Of North Eastern Region, G. Kishan Reddy.
Reddy was speaking at the Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting held at the Tent City in Rann of Kutch as part of events for India’s G20 presidency.
“The world faced difficult times during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the minister said. The tourism sector, in particular, has been severely affected because of COVID-19.
“But, after two years of negative growth, India received approximately 6.9 million tourists from abroad in 2022. This is a four-fold increase in the number of arrivals to India.
“The increase in tourist inflow indicates that our efforts for achieving resilient growth in tourism are progressing in the right direction.”
The Tourism Working Group meeting is the second G20 event in the state after the ‘Business 20 Inception’ program held in Gandhinagar last month. More than 100 delegates from India and other participating countries attended the first TWG meeting.
Minister Reddy confirmed that the Ministry of Tourism is celebrating 2023 as ‘Visit India 2023’, with plans to focus on inbound travel to India.
“We have 40 UNESCO heritage sites, and we observe more than 1,000 festivals yearly,” Reddy said.
In the last eight years, India has built an extensive tourism infrastructure to improve the tourism experience for visitors to the country.
The Indian government’s new tourism policy for 2023 intends to achieve “a paradigm shift in reimagining our tourism sector in India,” Minister Reddy informed the TWG delegates.
According to him, a ‘National Tourism Mission’ is to be set up to effect the digitalization of the country’s tourism sector in mission mode.
“As the first step, the Ministry of tourism has set up an integrated national database of the hospitality industry. This is a technology-driven system to facilitate digitalization and promote ease of business for the hospitality and tourism sector,” said Reddy.
To attract global and domestic investors, the Ministry plans to organize the first Global Tourism Investment Summit in April 2023, to be hosted in New Delhi.
“Also, we will organize a Tourism Expo to provide a platform for the industry, facilitate interaction between buyers and sellers, and share knowledge. The Ministry will also organize a global conference on MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism in May and an event on Adventure Tourism in June,” said Reddy.
Also, at the occasion, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel assured the guests that the state government is taking serious steps to boost the tourism sector.
“After Gandhi Circuit and Buddh Circuit, we are now developing places under Swami Vivekananda Tourist Circuit. Before leaving for Chicago to address the World Parliament of Religions, Swami Vivekananda visited some places in Gujarat. We are developing those places under Vivekananda Circuit,” Patel said.
During the planned event, working sessions will be held on five priority issues, namely green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism MSMEs, and destination management, according to an official government statement.
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