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Private sector may get government funding to promote tourism

Private sector may get government funding to promote tourism
The government plans to partly finance private sector expenditure on promoting tourism in India and may offer leading hotels, travel agencies, online travel portals and airlines as much as 50 per cent of their annual marketing budget as a fixed contribution, based on their credibility
The proposal, which will be a winwin proposition for stakeholders, is aimed at pushing government initiatives such as development of tourist circuits and zones, islands and beaches. It will add to  It will add to the country's foreign exchange earnings and create much-needed jobs. Private ventures will have more funds for promotion, with a sustained contribution from the government.
The government is discussing the idea with stakeholders and assessing the annual cost of the initiative, a senior government official told ET."The amount of financing to private players will depend on the star-rating and size of hotels as well as travel agencies," the official  told ET.
"The amount of financing to private players will depend on the star-rating and size of hotels as well as travel agencies," the official said on condition of anonymity.The government's view is that tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy and hence there is an all-round effort to give a major push to the sector. India's share in world tourist arrivals is expected to increase to 1 per cent by 2020 and  2 per cent by 2025 from 0.63 per cent currently.
The country will need robust marketing and world-class infrastructure to capitalise on the potential.According to the official, the government will lay out guidelines that would focus more on marketing through social media and the utilisation of statistics and data on consumer usage and dynamics to offer specific products and themes to various segments of tourists.
The tourism ministry, in collaboration with other ministries, has launched schemes such as Swadesh Darshan, National Mission for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation, e-tourist visa facility, creation of of five special tourism zones, five beach destinations and holistic development of 10 islands.
It has significantly relaxed regulation norms to enable speedier development along the country's 7,500 km coast line for leisure and real estate activities.Foreign tourist arrivals are expected to reach 15.3 m by 2025 against 8.8 mn in 2016, with tourists largely from the UK, the US and Bangladesh, as per World Tourism Organisation.
The Economic Times, New Delhi, 23th November 2017


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