Government invests Rs 1500 crore for tourism infrastructure development
Date: 31 Mar 2016
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New Delhi: The government has invested about Rs 1,500 crore for development of tourism infrastructure in the past six months under 'Swadesh Darshan' and 'Prasad' schemes, Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi said today.
Speaking at the South Asia Tour and Travel Exhibition, 2016 here, he asked the private sector to invest in "hospitality and other establishments" in the sector.
"Over the last six months, by virtue of flagship programmes of Swadeshi Darshan and Prasad schemes, Tourism Ministry has invested about Rs 1,500 crore. Money has been invested in various circuits and themes like eco-tourism, coastal tourism, Budhhist circuits, wildlife, deserts and religious places," he said.
Under Swadesh Darshan scheme, theme-based tourism circuits are identified for infrastructure development across the country, while PRASAD scheme's objective is to augment religious and spiritual tourism in the country.
Calling upon the private players to invest in the tourism sector, he said, "we are making the amenities and facilities around major destinations and now it is for private sector to come forward to bear the hospitality and other establishments which are required by the travellers."
Zutshi also exuded confidence that the public investment will trigger the private investment into the tourism sector.
On medical tourism, he said India has distinct advantage in terms of cost of treatment, time required for getting operation dates, state-of-art hospitals, and "best" physicians.
Zutshi said the government is also contemplating e-medical visa facility to boost medical and wellness tourism in India.
He also said the government plans to increase e-tourists visa to 150 countries from the present 113 nations.
Besides, he said, the government is considering increasing the application time period for online visa to 3-4 months from the current 30 days and enhancing the validity of stay under such visa to 60 days from the current 30 days with options for double or multiple entry.