The e-Visa regime continued to be the game changer for the tourism sector and its growing ambit meant only meant well for the tourism sector, the home minister said. While inaugurating the second edition of “Paryatan Parv”, a 12-day tourism festival at the India Gate lawns, he said that the online means was now available for citizens of 166 countries and allowed visits for business and medical treatment. He said the process of obtaining the e-Visa had been simplified significantly by the government. “We have improved the ease of travel significantly through electronic visa,” he said
Sharing specifics, Rajnath Singh shared that “during 2017, a total of 1.69 million foreign tourists arrived on e-Visa as compared to 1.08 million during 2016, registering a blistering growth of 57.2 percent.”
He suggested that the country was full of traditions and customs. “It is being developed as a tourist destination. The government is trying to increase tourism’s contribution in the GDP from seven to 10 percent,” Singh said.
The home minister hoped the festival would capture the imagination of the people by showcasing the wide range of India’s rich and resplendent culture.
Speaking at the occasion, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, K J Alphons, said that the country was largest growing in the tourism industry.
According to the ministry, ‘Paryatan Parv’ will have three main components — ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, ‘Tourism for All’ and ‘Tourism and Governance’.
The event will focus on domestic tourists especially to sensitise youth, the ministry said that India has a huge variety of destinations many of which are yet to be promoted.
While celebrations will be held across the country with the involvement of various state governments, at Rajpath in the national capital, activities will continue for a dozen days. Eighteen theme-based pavilions will be set up by states. It would also have 54 food stalls, craft bazaar and exhibitions will be held there. In a first, the ministry has also included yoga in the events. Its demonstration, training, therapy would be held by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga every day on the Rajpath lawns.