Tourism Ministry to magnify the number of Chinese tourists visiting India
Indian delegates under the guidance of the Union Minister of State for Tourism, K J Alphons visited China and conducted road shows to promote Indian tourism in China. The Minister and his team had organized similar events in cities of the USA two months ago. The minister expressed his hope that in the next 5 years, there would be over 14 million Chinese tourists to India.
Of the five road shows conducted, one was in the capital city of Beijing and the others were conducted in Wuhan, (the capital of Central China’s Hubei’s Province) and Shanghai. China has a large tourist market wherein 144 million tourists travelled out of the country last year in which India received only2.4 lakhs. Moreover, even though China is a neighboring country, India currently receives lesser number of tourists From China in comparison to those from the United States, the United Kingdom and the other western countries.
According to the statistics, India received 1.37 million U.S tourists in the past year. Last year almost 10.18 million foreign tourists visited India, which was a tremendous leap owing to the fact that there was a hike of 15% when compared to the previous year. According to the annual report of the Ministry of Tourism for 2017-18, India’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism exceeded 27 billion US dollars last year. On account it this, the Tourism minister added that investors from China or anywhere in the world, would be most welcome to India. The minister also gave out the fact that India had adequate hotel rooms in the luxury category but had a shortage of 200,000 budget hotel rooms priced between 29 to 44 US dollars per night.
While inaugurating the Tourism promotional event in Beijing, the Minister also expressed his wish to open a tourism office in the city so as to increase the inflow of Chinese tourists to India. On a question about the safety of the tourists, especially of women he reacted by saying all such issues were isolated events and called in for a “perception battle” that India would need to fight.
He also spoke about the four lane and six lane roads that are being built around the Buddhist circuit (A network of temples designed to attract tourists from China and other parts of Asia). It will take a couple of years to complete the highways, he added. He also gave out the fact that in six months’ time, the Sarnath temple in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Lord Buddha taught a key philosophy of the religion, will be ready to accommodate one million visitors annually.
When enquired about the impact of beef ban on the tourism sector, the minister explained that the meat was still consumed in Kerala, Goa and the northeastern states all of which are famous tourist destinations. At the same time, he notified that local sentiments should be respected as in every single place in the world.
India is famous not just for its scenic beauty and other tourist attractions, but also for medical tourism. The enthusiasm shown by the Ministry of Tourism would hopefully escalate the number of Chinese tourists to India, thereby strengthening the tourism sector.