The Indian government is holding roadshows in different cities of the United States aiming at attracting more Americans to explore the various facets of ‘Incredible India’.
The roadshows will showcase the country’s various facets ranging from rich cultural and historical heritage to adventure and medical tourism.
The Incredible India team visited Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2019;Bostonon June 25; Vancouver in Canada on June 26; Seattle on June 27 and will be visiting San Francisco on June 28.
Rich Culture and Historical Heritage
The four-day roadshow, organized by the government of India in association with industry stakeholders, received an enthusiastic response from the U.S. tour operators, officials said here.
“The roadshow has reflected that there is a lot of interest among Americans to visit India and explore its various facets ranging from rich cultural and historical heritage to adventure and medical tourism,” Meenakshi Sharma, Director General (Tourism), told PTI.
On average, 1.2 million American tourists visit India every year. The Department of Tourism has set the goal of increasing it by 10 percent every year, which she said is doable.
For this, Sharma underscored the need for creating the right kind of partnership. And now that the connectivity has increased due to more direct flights between the two countries, she hoped that more and more American tourists will opt India as their destination.
A similar roadshow was held in New York early this year and this year they are having in new cities.
Focus on Themes Rather Than Destination
In her presentation before the key American stakeholders and tourism partners, Sharma talked about the various experiences that American tourists can have in India, starting from heritage to fair and festivals, cuisine and shopping.
The focus, this time, she said, is more on themes rather than on destination.
India accounts for just 1.2 percent of the world tourism share, and India’s earnings in terms of World Tourism Receipts is 2.1 percent, she said. This reflects thattravelers coming to India are spending more, and India is just getting started, Sharma said.
However, the growth of foreign tourist arrival in India (14 percent in 2017) is much faster than the rest of the world (6.8 percent), she said. In her presentation, she said that India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, with 18 of the 125 airports being international airports and as many as 23 airports have been developed and upgraded in the last five years.
As part of its efforts to promote tourism, India has extended e-visa facility to 167 countries. In 2018, 274,000 Americans visited India through e-visa facility. While single entry has been converted to multiple entries, she said existing restriction of allowing foreigner for visiting India for a maximum of three times in a year has been removed.
The government has also extended e-visa facility for tourist, business, medical and cruise, she said.
By Sowmya Sangam