Union Minister of State for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Dr.Mahesh Sharma said that India is poised to receive one percent of Global tourists in three Years. Speaking at the Plenary session of the Pravasi Barati Diwas at Gandhinagar, Dr.Sharma said, presently India receives about 7 million foreign tourists annually and the target is to get one per cent share of the global tourist arrivals which is around 1.1 billion in three years.
The Minister said Tourism is one of the most important socio economic activities globally and it is very relevant for India’s economy also. An investment of Rs. 10 lakhs generates 18 jobs in agriculture, 45 jobs in manufacturing and 78 jobs in tourism sector, hence tourism has to be an important component of socio-economic development of India.
He said the Union Government has introduced Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for 43 countries on 27th November, 2014. In the last five weeks the total number of visas issued on line has crossed the figure of 22,179. These 43 countries covered about 42 per cent of the source market for Indian Tourism at the world level and Ministry of Home Affairs has been requested to include China, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy also in this list of ETA countries Dr.Sharma added.
These countries would bring in 20 per cent of world tourism market for India. Government has announced two more schemes for development of tourism infrastructure titled ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation (PRASAD) and also another Rs. 500 crores have been provided for development of 5 Integrated Circuits, the minister added.