India seeks increase in tourism share

DUBAI- India Tourism will launch its ‘Incredible India' campaign in the Gulf at the Arabian Travel Market today, Additional Director-General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, government of India, Mrs Reshmi Verma said at a Press conference yesterday.

By Debasree S

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Published: Tue 6 May 2003, 1:14 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:59 PM

The new campaign is an effort to promote India's image as the destination of the millennium to an international audience with the thrust being on Ayurveda and Spa resorts and backwaters of Kerala, adventure tourism packages in Himalayan states, the golden beaches of Goa, ancient monuments and wildlife sanctuaries.

Speaking at the Press conference, Mrs Verma said: "India tourism is now on a turnaround. The government's increased importance to tourism and its recognition as an important instrument of socio-economic change and the announcement of new fiscal incentives and concessions are expected to give a big boost to the sector."

The incident of September 11 and the December 13 attack on Indian parliament along with other natural calamities had severely affected the growth of the Indian tourism industry during the later part of 2001 and a good part of last year, with the year ending with a negative growth of 6.9 per cent.

"However from October last year onwards, Indian tourism has staged a dramatic recovery and international tourist arrivals have grown at the rate of 15 per cent. The months of January to April 2003 recorded an increase of 11 per cent as compared to the same months in the previous year," she explained.

However, with SARS impeding the inflow of tourists to Far-Eastern countries and crises in the Middle East, India has recently emerged as a popular tourist destination with April showing a 8.5 per cent increase in international tourists, she added. The Indian government is now looking at wooing tourist from the Gulf through a range of promotional activities, including roadshows, seminars and destination presentations. The most popular destination for most international tourists has, however, remained the golden triangle - Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

The India pavilion at the Arabian Travel Market will be the largest ever this year. It will be spread over 280 square metres. A total of eight states will be participating, including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Madhya Pradesh and Uttaranchal. "We have taken a bigger area of 280 sq m with representation from the tourism offices of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh," said Syed Iqbal, Assistant Director, India Tourism office, Dubai.

The unique offers from Indian tour operators include ‘Cool Hill Stations to Beat the Heat', ‘Monsoon Packages', ‘Royal Splendour-Palace on Wheels' ‘Adventure Tours', ‘rejuvenation and health packages' and ‘honeymoon' packages.

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