Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, in a written reply to an un-starred question to the Lok Sabha, highlighted the contribution of Tourism to the economy, and also listed the steps taken by the government to boost tourist arrival into the country.
As per the 2nd Tourism Satellite Account of India (TSA) 2009-10 and subsequent estimation, the contribution of tourism to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the years 2011-12 and 2012-13 were 6.76% and 6.88% respectively.
The steps taken by the Ministry of Tourism to increase the arrival of tourists to India are:
- Launch of Tourist e-Visa for citizens of 44 countries.
- Promotion of the destination through the Incredible India Campaign across the globe.
- Participation in major International Tourism & Travel Fairs & Exhibitions.
- Organising Road Shows to promote tourism destinations and products of country in major tourist source markets in collaboration with stake holders.
- Development and promotion “Niche Tourism” products.
- Creating an increased pool of trained man power in Hospitality & Tourism sectors for delivery of quality service to the tourist.
- Organising International Buddhist Conclave once in 2 years to show case the Buddhist Heritage and International Tourism Mart for showcasing the tourism potential of North East being held every year.