New Delhi (NVI): India’s global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index ranking has improved to 34th position this year from 40th place in 2017, aided by a series of steps taken by the Government, Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has informed Lok Sabha here.
In 2013, India stood at 65th position in the global travel & tourism competitiveness index ranking and then it jumps to 40th rank in 2017.
The government has launched two flagship schemes Swadesh Darshan (Integrated Development of theme-based Tourist Circuits) and PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive).
The projects under these schemes are identified for development in consultation with the State Governments and UT Administrations and are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier, said an official statement.
Pursuant to the Budget Announcements of 2018-19, the Culture and Tourism Ministry has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters in the country for development as Iconic Tourist Sites.
The Ministry along with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State/UTs Governments had made a collaborative effort as “Adopt A Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” which envisages developing heritage sites and making them tourist-friendly, to enhance tourism potential and cultural importance in a planned and phased manner, the statement added.
Assistance to Central Agencies for the development of tourism-related infrastructure in the country was also provided by the Ministry.
Further, the statement read, “Ministry of Home Affairs has relaxed the Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for a period of five years i.e. till December 31, 2022, in the states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland and for twenty-nine Islands of Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.”
It was also informed by the ministry that following the various measures taken by the stakeholders, the tourist visits in the country have increased in recent years with about 1854.9 million domestic visits and 28.9 million foreign visits in 2018 as compared to 2017 visits.
The Ministry has promoted India as a holistic destination and as part of its on-going activities to promote various tourism destinations and products in the different States and Union Territories of the country including the State of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, said the statement.