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India Tour Operators Say More Tourism Support Needed

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The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has written to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi thanking him for extolling NRI’s residing in Denmark during his speech there to contribute and help promote inbound tourism to India and thus contribute to the economic development of the country. However, the association also urges the government to raise the level of promotion for attracting inbound tourists.

Just as India has opened up, so have countries in neighboring areas. There is stiff competition coming from countries like Thailand, UAE, and even Nepal. One of the factors playing in their favor is the huge amount of marketing and promotional activities they are doing to attract foreign tourists.

According to Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President IATO: “Our marketing is not commensurate with our size and stature, and we need to step up on road shows, organizing Incredible India evenings, increase[ing] participation in international travel marts, organiz[ing] fam tour[s] for foreign tour operators. This we understand is because of paucity of funds with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. We also understand that:

“The funds to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, are withheld for reasons not known to us.”

“It will be pertinent to point out that every penny spent has a potential of return of 10 times, however, most unfortunately the allocation for promotion has been cut in this year’s budget. IATO implores the government to revisit the allocation and raise the marketing level, as after 2 years of [the] pandemic, the world wishes to travel, and India must try and reach out to [the] maximum [number of] people to visit our country. 

“IATO requests the Honorable Prime Minister to issue necessary directives to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to undertake promotional and marketing activities for which funds may kindly be released.”

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