KJ Alphons calls for doubling foreign tourist arrivals in 3 years
Guwahati, Feb 4: Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons on Sunday said the Centre aims to double the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) to 20 million in the next three years.
All stakeholders must work hard to achieve the target, the minister said. "We have earned 27 billion US dollars in the last financial year but we are not happy with these figures. We want the figures to increase dramatically," Alphons said in Guwahati during a session on tourism and wellness on the concluding day of Global Investors Summit-Advantage Assam.
He also urged the domestic tourists to visit different parts of the country as "Indians must see India".
"Last year, more than 23 million Indians went abroad and there is nothing wrong with that but at the same time, we must also adopt the policy of 'Let's see India'," the minister said.
The tourism ministry is committed to create an environment that is conducive for the visitors and appoint global ambassadors for promoting tourist circuits and sites, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has now emerged as an undisputed global leader, is committed to create a 'New India' and "the country today thinks, looks, sounds and acts differently", Alphons added.
Referring to North East, the minister said that there is no better and beautiful place in the world.
"The entire North East has incredible people with beautiful smiles, music, dances, textiles and cuisines. It has scenic places, wildlife among many more things," he said.
Assam, and particularly Guwahati, is the 'Gateway to North East' and the Centre will develop all tourist facilities in the state, Alphons added. Lauding the Centre's initiative, Assam tourism minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state has already formulated a new tourism policy and his ministry is ready to cater to the specific requirements of investors.
"Our policy is dynamic and flexible and we are ready to address specific cases as required. The state government will go an extra mile to promote tourism," Sarma said. There is no law and order problem in the state, and the people of Assam is, by tradition, very hospitable, he added.