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India is aiming to attract one million UK visitors by 2020, Says Tourism Secretar
Shri Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism headed the Indian delegation at World Travel Market in London today and said that India is aiming to attract one million UK visitors by 2020 through a number of key pro-active initiatives. The Secretary announced that many of the new initiatives will form part of India’s proposed new National Tourism Policy to catapult tourism to greater heights.
Following the success of India’s Electronic Tourist Visa scheme, launched in November 2014, proposals are already in process to extend the e-Visa’s validity from 30 to 180 days in 2016. Proposals are also in place to make it available in 150 countries worldwide (currently 113) ensuring multiple or double entry. Through the new Electronic Tourist Visa, applications are generally processed within three working days.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Zutshi said that we are committed to make it easy for travellers wanting to come to India, not least through our e-Visa scheme but also the improved air connectivity with India. We aim to attract more visitors through the promotion and development of our niche tourism experiences such as adventure, wellness, golf, spiritual and the ‘Paradise Unexplored’- the North East. we are working to improve the infrastructure at many of our beach destinations, the Secretary added.
Stressing India’s appeal as a year-round and diverse destination, Shri Vinod Zutshi further announced the creation of a new Medical Tourism Board and Golf Promotion Committee, both of which are charged with developing the infrastructure, product and appeal of both medical, wellness tourism and golf.
India will also be appointing new tourism marketing representatives in Argentina, Brazil, Russia, China and Japan in the next two years.
India’s largest-ever WTM delegation includes representatives from almost all of India’s states with a record attendance of 6 tourism Ministers and over 50 private India based Travel Organigations and State Governments.
Global tourism arrivals to India in 2014 were 7.68 million, up 10.2% over 2013 – India is outperforming global inbound tourism which rose by just 4.7% in the same period. From the UK, visitor arrivals were 838,860 in 2014, an increase of 3.8% over 2013.