Industry body seeks PM help to boost foreign tourist arrival | Mint
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Business News/ Industry / Industry body seeks PM help to boost foreign tourist arrival
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Industry body seeks PM help to boost foreign tourist arrival

Indian Association of Tour Operators suggested offering incentives to inbound tour operators, planning aggressive overseas promotion, and assigning trained officers in Indian embassies

The association pointed out the lack of budgetary support for overseas initiatives like travel marts and roadshows as a major hurdle in attracting foreign tourists. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/MintPremium
The association pointed out the lack of budgetary support for overseas initiatives like travel marts and roadshows as a major hurdle in attracting foreign tourists. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has written to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), urging steps to help boost inbound tourism. 

IATO president Rajiv Mehra expressed concern over the drastic fall in foreign arrivals in 2022 when visits dropped to 85.9 lakh, in stark contrast to the 3.14 crore visits seen in 2019, as per data released by union tourism minister G. Kishan Reddy.

The association blamed the decline on several factors: withdrawal of incentives for inbound operators, lack of trained tourism staff in Indian embassies, and inadequate international marketing and promotion. The association pointed out the lack of budgetary support for overseas initiatives like travel marts and roadshows as a major hurdle in attracting foreign tourists.

As per official data from the tourism ministry, 2019 saw about 10 crore visitors to India. 

“Foreign visitors' numbers falling during the pandemic was understandable, but now that things are back to normal, our numbers are nowhere near the 2019 level. These in no way do justice to our country which has so much to offer," Mehra said.

Representing over 1,700 inbound tour operators, IATO proposed several steps to revive the sector. These include offering a 5% incentive to inbound tour operators on their foreign exchange earnings for overseas promotion, and assigning trained tourism officers in Indian embassies and consulates for better outreach.

Mehra also suggested allocating dedicated budgetary funds and planning for aggressive overseas promotion through various channels, including electronic and print media, and travel, and emphasized the urgent need to set up a National Tourism Board.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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Published: 08 Dec 2023, 02:54 PM IST
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