NEW DELHI: The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma has said the Government is making all possible efforts to take the share of India in global tourism to one percent from the current 0.64%. It is to this end that the scheme of e-Tourist Visa was launched by the new government , which has given very good results. Dr. Mahesh Sharma was addressing a joint Press Conference with Karnataka Tourism Minister , R V Deshpande in New Delhi recently.
The Press Conference was organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism and Government of Karnataka in connection with the PATA Travel Mart 2015 to be held at Bangalore from 6th – 8th September, 2015.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma that the efforts of the Government to give Tourism a place of pride are beginning to show results, and India has jumped up 13 ranks in the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, 2015. Referring to the importance of events like PATA, the Minister said that we should partner with all stake holders including private organizations and state governments to achieve our goal of one percent share in world tourism. The new National Tourism Policy, 2015 is on the anvil, which will be interactive and deliver in a mission mode, the Minister explained.
Addressing the media, R.V. Deshpande said that this is the event of the entire country and he invited all stake holders to participate enthusiastically in it. He also informed that for the first time, an Investors’ Meet is being organized during the event.
The Karnataka Tourism Minister explained that the state government has adopted a professional approach towards tourism including several measures like rating of ‘home stays’ and restaurants.
Deshpande also said that Karnataka Government is bringing out Tourism and Trade Facilitation Act and will soon set up Tourist Friendly Police or ‘Tourist Mitra’.
The State has also come out with a novel initiative of Adoption of Tourist destinations by Corporates for their maintenance and providing facilities there, he added. Deshpande further informed that 134 buyers from 43 countries and 114 sellers from 66 organizations have already confirmed their participation.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma congratulated the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for his focus on tourism and stressing upon it as an important engine of economy for generating income and employment. The announcement by the Prime Minister in China to extend e-Tourist visa to Chinese nationals will help attract more tourists from that country to India and fill the gap of in bound and out bound tourists between India and China, Dr Mahesh Sharma said.
Jatinder Singh Taneja, representative from PATA informed that the small and medium enterprises will get an opportunity to show case their business during the event. The Travel technology pavilion is also being set up to promote the use of technology in Tourism sector.
The PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Travel Mart (PTM) is the premier travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region, which brings together international buyers and sellers for one-to-one meetings, educational forums and networking sessions. It provides an excellent platform for showcasing and promoting the varied tourism destinations and products of countries, to a target international audience. This is the third PATA Travel Mart being held in India.
The Secretary Tourism, Dr. Lalit Panwar and senior officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Government of Karnataka were also present during the Press Conference.
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