Foreign tourist footfall now 75% of pre-pandemic level: Tourism minister Reddy


Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy on Thursday said the footfall of foreign tourists in India has reached 75 per cent level of what it was in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. The minister hoped that by December 2023, the footfall of foreign tourists would not only return to pre-pandemic level, the country would also register a record number of tourists. Reddy was speaking after inaugurating the 30th edition of the South Asias Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), being held from February 9 to 11, at the India Expo Mart and Centre in Greater Noida. The number of domestic tourists within the country is also on a rise. For example, Jammu and Kashmir had record number of tourists which was not seen ever earlier. Similarly, foreign tourists have reached 75 per cent of what it was in 2019 before Covid, he said. Australian tourists have come to India in numbers more than it was in 2019, while the number of tourists from the US has reached 85 per cent of the pre-Covid level. I have full faith, by December 2023, the foreign tourist footfall will not only reach the pre-COVID level, but cross it, he said.

The minister said the Centre is working towards promotion of tourism in the country and committed to making it number one in the world. He also called on stakeholders from the tourism and hospitality industry to contribute to this effort.

Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India, which is organising the SATTE, said the tourism sector has a large potential and holds opportunity to provide 137 million jobs and entrepreneurship prospects. The Government of India has also allocated funds to the tune of Rs 2,400 crore in Union Budget 2023-24 for the development of tourist infrastructure, prioritising sustainability, aiming for a green economy and net-zero carbon emission by 2070, he said.

Promotion of tourism is on a mission mode and SATTE 2023 is anticipated to bring together various tourism stakeholders for three days and expand tourism in India. The expo will showcase composite tourism products profile of India and global tourism destinations, he added. Mauritius Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Louis Steven Obeegadoo, Indonesias Deputy Minister for Tourism Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Saudis Chief Markets Officer Asia Pacific, Saudi Tourism Authority Alhasan Ali Aldabbagh, among others, attended the inaugural event.


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