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Parliamentary Committee Pulls Up Tourism Ministry For Low Tourist Traffic  

08 May 2012

Mumbai: Observing that lack of cleanliness could be a reason for low tourist traffic, a Parliamentary panel yesterday pulled up the Ministry of Tourism, saying the country's global tourism share of 0.6 per cent is "unacceptable" as it has a wide variety of tourist attractions.

In its report tabled in Parliament, the Standing Committee on Tourism and Culture reprimanded the Ministry for spending Rs 194 crore on overseas promotion saying the expenditure was not commensurate with foreign tourist arrivals. The Sitaram Yechury-led committee also pointed out that the tourism potential of Indian islands was more than that of popular destinations such as Thailand and Singapore, but insufficient facilities have marred the tourism scope of these places, according to a report by PTI.

"Even though India has a vast variety of tourist attractions, the global tourism share is less than 0.6 per cent annually in terms of world arrivals. The Committee feels that this percentage is just unacceptable, and what we are aiming at is to achieve one per cent during the 12th Plan," it said.

On the overseas tourism promotions, the committee said Rs 194 crore was spent on this activity up to February 2012, which was not commensurate with the return in the form of number of foreign tourist arrivals. "The Committee is surprised that with so many attractions -- religious, tourist, health, why we have not been able to attract enough tourists to India," it said.

The committee said it has "doubts" about the overseas promotion campaigns and asked the Government to have a re-look into the necessity of various tourist promotion offices abroad and the efficacy of various officials under Overseas Promotion and Publicity.