World arrivals increase 5%, India increase 15%

Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism says the sector has the biggest multiplier effect for any economy, as for every rupee spent, you get `4 back.

KANCHAN NATH

The Minister was invited as the Chief Guest at an event organised by Travel Agents Association of Kashmir at The Lalit, New Delhi. Kannanthanam observed that Indian tourism did extremely well in 2017. “We crossed the 10 million mark in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs). Internationally, the numbers are counted for every foreign national returning to India called the International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs). So if we consider that number, we have crossed the 16 million mark. Our tourism grew by 15.2 per cent in 2017, while the global tourism grew only by 5 per cent,” he said. Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism grew by 20.5 per cent, a dramatic increase over last year.

We need to put our hearts, souls and expertise together to make Kashmir the focus of tourism in the country. Let’s create a Kashmir, which is truly heaven with all its beauty, cuisine and music. If Kashmir is marketed properly, you don’t need anything else but just the tourism industry to provide jobs for all the Kashmiris.

Inclusive India

Highlighting the role of tourism and hospitality as a spinner for economic development and employment, he added, “The tourism sector has the biggest multiplier effect. For every rupee spent, you get `4 back. In terms of equity, from illiterate to semiliterate, graduates to professionals to the biggest global experts, everybody gets embroiled in the tourism sector. This is exactly what the Prime Minister’s dream is – not only that India has to grow but also taking the fruits of development to the last person out there. That is inclusive India.”

Union Budget

2018 Elaborating on the Budget which came out the same day, Kannanthanam said, “The entire focus of the Budget this year is on bringing dignity to people, to the lower middle class, lower strata of society, to the middle class and people all around. The bulk of the expenditure goes to that strata of society so that we bring dignity to their lives. Under the universal healthcare system in this country, every individual gets insured for an amount of `5 lakh. Everybody deserves a better life and needs to be taken care of.”

Combat Terrorism

Sharing his recent experience at an international trip, he said, “On my recent visit to Thailand while attending the ASEAN foreign ministers’ conference, I was most flattered by the opening statement of Thailand’s tourism minister. He had said that the underlying civilisation of Southeast Asia is Indian. That was an incredible statement for a minister to make in his own country. The theme for the frescos at the Grand Palace in Bangkok is all from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The underlying message of tourism is bringing hearts closer. Tourism is the best weapon against terrorism anywhere in the world. It’s the best tool to bring everybody together.”

Jewel of Kashmir

Emphasising on the need to market Kashmir and reiterating MOT’s support, he said, “We need to put our hearts, souls and expertise together to make Kashmir the focus of tourism in the country. Let’s create a Kashmir, which is truly heaven with all its beauty, cuisine and music. If Kashmir is marketed properly, you don’t need anything else but just the tourism industry to provide jobs for all the Kashmiris.

Breaking Records

  • Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) to India crossed the 10 million mark in 2017.
  • n terms of International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs), India has crossed the 16 million mark.
  • India tourism grew by 15.2 per cent in 2017, while the global tourism grew only by 5 per cent.
  • Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism grew by 20.5 per cent, a dramatic increase over last year.

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