India’s tourism minister, Piyush Goyal, has launched the country’s biggest tourism drive so far in remote places like Mizoram and Tripura to attract tourists.
The tourism ministry has launched seven national tourism programmes across the country, including a Rs1,000 crore tourism drive and an ambitious tourism strategy to reach 1.3 billion people by 2022, according to a statement released by Goyal.
The schemes are aimed at attracting foreign tourists, who are currently spending around Rs1.2 trillion ($2.8 trillion) annually in India, the statement said.
The Tourism Ministry is now targeting tourist areas where tourism is weak, like Tripura, Mizorad and Mizoran, it said.
In Mizoron, Goyal said he wants to strengthen the tourism sector by encouraging companies to invest in developing tourism projects and encourage them to develop their own projects.
The government will create an ‘Agency of Tourism’ in Mizorom, where tourism and cultural heritage are important, Goyals statement said, without elaborating.
Tourism in the Mizorani area of the Bay of Bengal is currently at a crisis level due to the monsoon rains, he said.
Tourists spend around Rs8,000 ($2,000) per day in the Bay and other areas of Mizor, which is located between Mizorot and the mainland.
The tourist season is scheduled to end in mid-June, but many locals still stay in the area for the summer months.
Tourism was a key revenue stream for the Indian state for years, but the economy has been reeling since demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November last year.
The move has also had a negative impact on the tourism industry.
Tourist arrivals to India fell by 1.1 percent in April-June from a year earlier.