Indian Tourism Ministry meets with states for new national policy

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The Indian Ministry of Tourism has held a meeting with state authorities regarding the formulation of the country’s new National Tourism Policy.

Dr Mahesh Sharma, India’s Minister for Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation, met with the representatives of India’s state tourism boards to get their views on the new policy, which will become the first new national tourism plan since 2002.

The ministry revealed that state representatives made a series of requests and suggestions at the meeting, including tax incentives for tourism businesses, more connectivity for remote areas, and a greater focus on less developed regions of the country.

Representatives of northeastern states also requested that Delhi ease travel restrictions on international travellers in some areas.

The new National Tourism Policy forms part of the new Indian government’s renewed focus on the tourism industry. Recent initiatives have included the expansion of a visa-on-arrival system, a focus on infrastructure development, and e-ticketing at key tourism attractions such as the Taj Mahal.

India is planning to increase its share of global international tourism arrivals to 1%, up from the current 0.68%.

This meeting in Delhi was the second collaboration on the National Tourism Policy, following a gathering of tour operators, travel agencies and other industry stakeholders last month.

The new National Tourism Policy is expected to be rolled out in May 2015.

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