Published on: Feb 11, 2023@ 18:42
Reporter: Aniruddha Pal
SPT News Kolkata, Feb 11: Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Mr. G Kishan Reddy sounded hopeful about India’s tourism. At an event in Greater Noida on Thursday, he said that foreign tourist arrivals in India have reached 75 per cent of what they were in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, he expressed hope that by December 2023, the presence of foreign tourists in the country will surpass the pre-pandemic level. Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) Chairman (Eastern Chapter) Mr. Anil Punjabi supported the tourism minister’s statement and said that a major part of the country’s GDP will come from tourism in the next few years.
Mr. G Kishan Reddy was speaking after inaugurating the 30th edition of the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) held from February 9 to 11 at the India Expo Mart and Centre, Greater Noida. Regarding domestic tourism within the country, he said- “The number of domestic tourists is also increasing in the country. For example, there was a record number of tourists in Jammu and Kashmir which was never seen before. Likewise, foreign tourist arrivals have reached 75 percent of what they were in pre-Covid 2019.”
Lots of foreigners from Australia, USA
“Australian tourists visited India in higher numbers than in 2019, while the number of tourists from the US reached 85 percent of pre-Covid levels. I fully believe, by December 2023, foreign tourist arrivals will not only reach pre-Covid levels, but surpass them,” said the tourism minister.
Tourism Minister committed to making India number one in the world in tourism
Mr. Reddy said India is hosting the G20 summit this year and representatives of all participating countries will visit the country. He exhorted the tourism and hospitality stakeholders to provide the best facilities to the visitors in line with the Indian philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’. He said that the Center is working towards promoting the country’s tourism and is committed to making it the world’s number one. He also called on stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry to contribute to the effort.
“The G20 gave us the opportunity to showcase our travel and tourism through multiple events in 56 different countries. Our culture, tradition, food, dress, thinking, respect and our ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ beliefs should be put before us for tourists,” he said.
The minister said that so far the G20 summit has been held in only one city, but during India’s chairmanship of the group, it will be held in 56 cities, not just Delhi.
Mr. Anil Punjabi, chairman of TAFI, supported the statement of the tourism minister
TAFI fully supports this statement of Tourism Minister Mr. G Kishan Reddy. TAFI’s Chairman (Eastern Chapter) Mr. Punjabi responded to SPT and said – “It is true that many people from abroad are coming to India now. Two or three people contacted me. They live in Canada. He wants to meet his parents. They said that they are coming to Lucknow for the G20 meeting. He left two days ago. Many people are coming now. To visit the whole of India. India is making great progress. The number of tourists is increasing. Business is growing. Airlines are growing. It can be said that the country is making great progress in tourism as a whole.”
“Borders were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now they are open. Those who were here at that time have seen the whole country with their own eyes. India has very good sightseeing places. They came from outside and saw this country in a new way. He has witnessed everything here, food and drink, hotel facilities, communication system. So foreigners go back home and say – India has very good places to visit. There are wonderful places for tourism. As a result, business is increasing. Money is coming. The revenue is here to stay. People used to say – Jammu and Kashmir is Switzerland. Now they are visualizing it. Now the infrastructure in our country has improved a lot. Now people can reach anywhere easily. People can easily reach by train, flight, road. A new horizon has opened up in transportation. A new bridge has been built. Tourism will add a lot of money to Indian GDP in the next few years, hopes Mr. Anil Punjabi.