Dubai, May 5 (UNI) India is working out a plan to attract West Asian visitors offering them an exclusive package that is spiritually enhancing, culturally enriching, physically invigorating and mentally rejuvenating.
The first quarter of 2006 has shown a 24 per cent growth in Arab tourists over the same period in 2005, news reports quoted Additional Director General (Tourism) of India Rajeev Talwar as saying.
Some 35,989 tourists from the West Asia visited India in the first quarter of 2006 and this is expected to show an overall growth in this period of over 20 per cent from the region this year, he said at the Arab Travel Market exposition.
''Improvements in accessibility and infrastructure, well-trained human resources, diversification of the tourism product and an integrated marketing campaign under the banner 'Incredible India' have helped in the unprecedented growth,'' he added.
There had been an increase of 26.8 per cent during 2004 and 13.2 per cent during 2005 in foreign tourist arrivals to the country, he noted.
Foreign Exchange earnings during the same period increased by 35 per cent and 20.2 per cent respectively in US dollar terms.
The first three months of the current financial year 2006 have seen a further increase of 12.1 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals to the country, as compared to the corresponding period in 2005.
Kerala Tourism Minister Venugopal said product diversification was also being given due consideration and importance.
Medical Tourism, a new product had recently been launched and was being promoted in key markets like Kerala, he added.
The introduction of the medical visa, under which a patient and an attendant can visit India for a period of one year and that can be extended up to three years, is expected to give a further boost to this type of tourism.
UNI XC KD DS1613