Moneycontrol
Feb 15, 2017 08:23 AM IST | Source: PTI

India lags behind in cruise tourism sector: Mahesh Sharma

The Tourism Minister said that his ministry has taken up the taxation issue regarding tourism sector with the Finance Ministry and was also trying to solve the problems regarding guides.


Union Minister Mahesh Sharma pitched for strengthening 'cruise tourism' in India even as he lamented that the country lagged behind in the segment despite having 7,500 kms coastline.


Inaugurating the 24th edition of South Asia's travel trade show SATTE, he said, "India has everything what it takes to be a big player in tourism sector like a diverse culture with deep rooted spirituality with seven out of eight remembrance places associated with Lord Buddha being in the country. Around 73 per cent of Himalayas also lies in the country."

"We have 7,500 km of coastline but we are lagging behind in cruise tourism," he said while emphasising that his ministry was working on tapping the potential of the sector.


The Tourism Minister said that his ministry has taken up the taxation issue regarding tourism sector with the Finance Ministry and was also trying to solve the problems regarding guides.


He said various other ministries have been playing their role to push tourism like the Home Ministry extending e-visa facility to 161 countries, the Civil Aviation Ministry rolling out regional connectivity scheme and the Transport Ministry emphasising on developing infrastructure.


Stressing that the "country was going places in tourism sector", Sharma said there was a need to focus on the industry as it leads to employment generation, foreign exchange and empowerment of women.


The BJP leader also highlighted the scope of medical tourism in India.


Malaysia's Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, while addressing the ceremony, stressed that India was an "important market" and the sixth top tourism generator country for Malaysia.

Over 800 exhibitors from about 40 countries, including India, will participate in the three-day event beginning tomorrow.

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