India showcases tourism potential for business, leisure, medical at ATM

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Staff Report

Dubai – The Ministry of Tourism, under the “Incredible India” banner, showcased the immense tourism potential of the country – business, leisure and medical value travel during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 held from 22 – 25 April, 2018 in Dubai. More than 20 participants from India, representing the travel trade, diversity of Heritage, Nature, Culture and Wellness tourism participated in the India Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India at ATM – 2018.

India Pavilion had participants representing the State Tourism Departments of Kerala, Air India, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Hoteliers/Resorts, Wellness, Spas and Ayurveda Centres, who would be showcasing innumerable tourism products of ‘Incredible India’

The theme chosen for ATM-2018 is “Adventure, Yoga & Wellness Tourism”. One of the highlights of the ‘Incredible India’ was the depiction of India as a multi-faceted tourist destination for Luxury, Wildlife, and Wellness / Medical Tourism. India has 36 World Heritage Sites which include historic monuments and natural wonders and is being promoted by the tour operators.

The Indian tourism outlook is very promising with an upswing in the growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in the recent years. In 2017, India received 10.18 million FTAs with a growth rate of 15.6%. The Gulf and the Middle East region are an important market for India. There has been a consistent and positive growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals from this region to India over the last 3 years with the year 2017 has registered an overall growth of around 10% over the previous year. The aim is to maintain the same pace of growth rate in international tourist arrivals over the next 3 years including the Middle East through a multi-pronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with our tourism stakeholders. Some of the countries, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Egypt, Turkey and Sudan have registered a significant growth and are emerging as major tourism generating markets for India from this region.

India has emerged as a Destination for Medical / Wellness Travel in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The percentage of Foreign Tourist Arrivals visiting India for Medical Treatment has been increasing over the years and growing rapidly since the year 2000. India is poised to become a hub for medical tourism because of several factors viz. world-class hospitals with latest technology; highly skilled Indian physicians and surgeons; cost-effective treatment; excellent quality of care and nursing; less waiting time for availing of medical services; traditional healthcare therapies like Ayurveda & Yoga combined with allopathic treatment providing a holistic wellness destination.

India has a rich and diverse Natural, Cultural and Religious Heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism, from the architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, to the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, from mountaineering to meditation, yoga to white water rafting in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, or in any of India’s mighty rivers, all offer an unparalleled experience to the visitors. Seventy-Three percent of the Himalayas are in India. The Indian
Himalayas are a complete destination in themselves and span across six states of India namely, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the hill regions of West Bengal To improve infrastructural facilities in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched a new scheme for the integrated development of thematic circuits.

To promote Adventure Tourism to India and to create awareness about the varied adventure options available, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to celebrate the year, 2018 as ‘The Year of Adventure Tourism’. Dramatic Himalayan landscapes in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, each dissected by raging rivers, provide the perfect geography for adventure sport such as white water rafting, rock climbing, skiing, low and high altitude trekking, canyoning and paragliding and horse polo, and water sports such as scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking and canoeing in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep and Andamans.

One of the regions in focus is the North Eastern region of India which comprises the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Promotion of tourism of the North Eastern States of India with its rich and diverse tourism products viz. a variety of attractive flora and fauna and also home to the unique Asian one horned Rhino, is being given special emphasis. This area is also becoming popular with tourists for River Cruises. The rich natural beauty, serene landscapes and rare flora and fauna are the main attractions in these areas. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com