“The first two months January and February have recorded as much as 9.6 per cent growth, as far as FTAs (foreign tourist arrivals) are concerned,” said Mr Zutshi. “Even the domestic tourism is booming with 14 per cent continuous growth rate and with an aim of achieving even more than 15 per cent augurs well as far as growth of both domestic and foreign tourism is concerned.”
“I think lot of credit goes to the peaceful and conducive environment in terms of law and order,” he added.
He also said that there is a need to identify coastal areas that can be developed as MICE tourist destinations in India, more so as there had been an investment worth Rs 500 crore made in promoting tourism in coastal states.
He also informed that the union government is working with state governments to develop Khajuraho, Sanchi, Bodhgaya, Varanasi and Tirupati as MICE tourism destinations in India.
Emphasising upon the need for aggressive promotion, marketing and branding, Mr Zutshi called for synergy between private tour operators and the government to promote tourism sector in India.
Talking about India’s weakness in international bidding, he said, “We need to introspect and see what can be done, we tried in the last budget, as a pre-budget measure, we made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance to have a corpus by which we can be more aggressive while doing international bidding for MICE events, unfortunately it could not see the light of the day, but we will keep making those efforts.”
Mr Zutshi said that India as a tourist destination had gained lot of mileage from the foreign visits of the Prime Minister. “The kind of visibility India has achieved in the form of visits of the Prime Minister all over the world, this is something by which we are drawing lot of mileage, the visit is followed by memorandum of understanding, bilateral agreements, media coverage and the international conferences being held.”