India: Tourism Ministry has almost finalised the new national Tourism Policy and will soon place it before the cabinet for its approval. The new policy will focus on increasing the total number of Buddhist tourist from across the globe apart from getting more tourists through inbound MICE tourism.
Addressing the three-day Global MICE Travel Mart ceremony here, Suman Billa, joint secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said “the new tourism policy is the need of the hour as the government has set a new target for tourism industry and to tackle the policy obstacles.”
“As on date only 0.005 per cent Buddhist from across the globe come to India which is very low keeping the fact that India is the origin of Buddhism and it has huge potential to attract more and more Buddhist in India through Buddha Circuit,” he said.
Mr Billa said, “even if we get 0.05 of total Buddhist population as a tourist, our economy will be boosted by seven billion dollar. Keeping this in mind, government is planning to establish a convention centre at Bodhgaya for 2000 people where they can organize meetings, can do meditation and conferences.”
“Tourism ministry is in constant touch with foreign ministry to have a electronic Visa regime which will attract more and more tourists,” he said.
He was of the opinion that MICE tourism can attract more tourists as India has built up huge infrastructure for them. Not only New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, even Hyderabad, Greater Noida, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Ahmadabad too are having huge convention centers and other facilities for the MICE tourism.”
Of the various forms of tourism that exists in the globe, Meetings Incentives, Conferences Exhibition (MICE) is the one which has shown the maximum potential across the globe,” he said.
Earlier he released FICCI-MRSS report which suggests five-point agenda to boost MICE tourism, The report states that there are a few issues in relation to MICE tourism in India which can be perceived as possible bottlenecks to the industry as a whole.According to the report, ”prevalence of high tax structure in India is a major contributor for India’s destinations to lose out on a global scale while bidding for events. Availability of trained manpower is an issue. There is a need of superior Industry-Academia connect to overcome of it.
New national tourism policy to focus on Buddhist tourists