‘Not at risk when in India’

Rakesh Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT), reveals the ministry’s plan to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. He also talks about MOT’s initiatives to attract and motivate tourists to travel to India.

Nisha Verma

Rakesh Kumar Verma assumed office in January  this year and within a month of doing so, he has got down to business in his new role. “We are trying to project India as an experiential and transformational destination for travellers, which is one of the key messages that we are putting across,” he shares.

Ministry of Health is leading the initiative to ensure that tourists are given full public health protection

While the outbreak of COVID-19 in China and its spread to other parts of the world has made tourists wary of travelling across borders, India might have to go the extra mile in convincing foreigners to visit. Addressing the issue at hand, Verma says, “Our country has taken all possible measures in terms of screening people and monitoring the situation. Ministry of Health is leading the initiative to ensure we don’t lose out because of the impact of the virus and that the tourists who come here are given full public health protection. Preventive measures are in place, hence, the situation is under control so far. We will be highlighting these initiatives and other precautionary measures to give confidence to foreign travellers that they won’t be at risk when travelling to India.” Apart from this, the Joint Secretary informs, they will highlight everything from infrastructure being upgraded, more tourist amenities being created, safety and security of travellers, visa being granted to many countries, reduction of visa fee, as well as the number of airports being upgraded. MOT is also appointing tour- ism management agencies and two such appointments have already been made, to be applicable from April 1.

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