India's tourism potential huge: Mahesh Sharma

ANI | Updated: Feb 13, 2018 18:05 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 13 (ANI): Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday said the testament to India's tourism potential is the 25-place jump that it has taken in the last four years as per the World Economic Forum global competitiveness index.

"India has immense tourism potential. We were ranked 65 four years back, and now, we are ranked 40 on the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index. This is symbolic of the changes that have come about in the sector," Sharma said at the India Infracon 2018 event organised here by Asian News International (ANI).

In terms of improvement in connectivity for tourism upliftment, Sharma said significant measures are being taken for improving both the roadway and railway network as highlighted in the budget proposals for fiscal 2018-19.

"Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech, spoke of developing ten iconic tourist locations in India. We have the Taj Mahal, the Himalyas and several other locations. We have the necessary infrastructure and connectivity, and are further improving the same. Our ITDC hotels have now been disinvested to improve quality. We want these to be the talk of the town," the minister said.

Furthermore, Sharma said that for greater hospitality towards foreign tourists, measures are being taken in line with India's motto of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) and Atithi Devo Bhava (the guest is equivalent to god).

On a related note, Jaitley had said during his budget speech on February 1 that the government would like to convert ten popular tourist destinations into iconic and model destinations, by adopting a holistic development approach with the support of the private sector.

Jaitley also announced that the ministry is planning to enhance the visitor experience at 110 model monuments which come under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This would be done under the National Heritage City Augmentation scheme of the government. (ANI)