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Friday, 07 September, 2018, 09 : 30 AM [IST]

Target of 20mn tourists by 2020 achievable: Alphons

Inaugurating the 34th annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) in Visakhapatnam, KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India, said that the target of 20 million foreign tourists by 2020 is quite an achievable target for India. He said that the tourism sector is performing phenomenally well and if the growth is maintained and all pillars of the industry work in tandem then the target of 20 million tourists is very much achievable. The Minister said that the sector has generated 14.62 million additional jobs in the economy in the last four years, which is also an incredible achievement.  

Speaking on the occasion, Rashmi Verma, Secretary – Tourism, Government of India said that the growth in foreign tourist arrivals of over 15% has been possible because of the support of the private industry in the country and urged the private sector to work in a concerted manner to achieve the set target of 20 million inbound tourists in the available three years time. 

According to Verma, many projects under the Swadesh Darshan scheme will be completed by December 2018. An integrated marketing plan has been initiated, and the Tourism Ministry would participate in major tourism marts. She admitted that GST to some extent is creating a stumbling block for the growth of the industry. "But we are in constant touch with the Finance Ministry so that the issue is addressed."

Pranab Sarkar, President, IATO, in his speech congratulated the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for extending wholehearted support in organising the Convention. He emphasised that the tourism sector offers enormous opportunity for job creation and foreign exchange earnings."But we have to be more pro-active and it is imperative to focus on untapped and emerging markets," exhorted Sarkar. He also said that there exists a huge opportunity for promoting adventure tourism in India. "It is high time to tap that segment," he said.
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