Home / News / India /  Foreign tourist arrivals rose in India despite covid slowdown: Minister

New Delhi: Despite the severe effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism sector, India saw a boost in foreign tourist arrivals in 2022, said tourism minister G Kishan Reddy said on Wednesday.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 1st Tourism Working Group meeting under India’s G20 presidency, the minister said that approximately 6.19 million foreign tourists were received in India during 2022. “This is a four-fold increase in the number of arrivals over the last year."

Reddy added that the Ministry of Tourism is celebrating 2023 as ‘Visit India Year’. “It is focused on in-bound travel to India. The tourists can experience boundless cultural heritage, spiritual experiences, wildlife resources and natural beauty."

He said that over the last 8.5 years, India has built extensive tourism infrastructure worth approximately $1 billion (Rs. 7,000 crores) to improve tourist experience. “The country has taken several initiatives for skilling youth including short term hospitality courses, skill testing and certification, recognition of prior learning, and digital courses online."

The minister added that India is nurturing and developing young ambassadors of Indian tourism through YUVA tourism clubs in schools and colleges across the country.

Reddy said that we are also focused on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of tourists travelling in India. “We are formulating and implementing Uniform Tourist Police for providing a safe and secure environment to the tourists. The country has appointed nodal officers in the Indian missions abroad of the top 20 source countries."

He added that the National Digital Tourism Mission (NDTM) is being formulated to ensure the digitalization of the tourism sector in mission mode. “India has built many large-scale digital public infrastructures such as Aadhaar for identity and UPI for real-time payments."

During the working session, discussions were held on Greening of Tourism sector for a sustainable, responsible and resilient tourism sector; Harnessing the Power Of Digitalization to promote competitiveness, Inclusion and sustainability in tourism sector; Empowering youth with skills for jobs and entrepreneurship in tourism sector; Nurturing tourism MSMEs / Startups/ private sector to unleash innovation and dynamism in tourism sector; Rethinking the strategic management of destinations towards a holistic approach that delivers on the SDGs.

Swati Luthra
Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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