TODAY -
Over 1.12 lakh tourists visited state last year
Source: Hueiyen News Service

New Delhi, February 19 2009: The number of tourists visited in Manipur has been increased from the calendar year 2007 to 2008 by 10723.In replying to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Smt.

Kanti Singh, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture said that 1,12,505 tourists visited in Manipur during the period January-December 2008 as against 1,01,880 in the calendar year 2007 .

Mizoram recorded 56,826 tourist visits in 2008 against 43,830 in 2007 and Tripura recorded 2, 49,015 in 2008 against 2, 47,976 in 2007.Assam had a record of 31,50,179 tourists visited in the State during January to October 2008 and Sikkim had a record of 2,09,054 tourists visited during January to May 2008 .

Development and promotion of tourism was primarily undertaken by the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.

The Ministry of Tourism extended Central Financial Assistance for project proposals submitted by the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations that were complete as per scheme guidelines, subject to availability of funds and inter-se-priority.

During the year 2007-08, an amount of Rs.174.69 crore was sanctioned for 86 tourism projects in the North Eastern Region, the Union Minister stated.

In another question, the Union Minister today replied in the Lok Sabha that in the latest meeting of the National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) held on 15.12.2008, suggestions made to boost the tourism industry in the aftermath of global economic slowdown and terrorist attacks in Mumbai related to increase in incentives for the travel trade, promotion of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions (MICE) tourism and domestic travel in the country, inviting trade and media representatives to Mumbai and other parts of the country for familiarization tours, easing of norms for External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) for hotel sector, setting up of Tourist Police by the State/ UT Governments, ensuring smoother and seamless travel across states, rationalization of luxury tax, passenger tax, road tax and other state taxes, etc.

As a follow up, the Ministry of Tourism had announced various promotional schemes like Visit India Year 2009, liberalization of Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) scheme for overseas marketing, introduction of MDA scheme for the promotion of domestic and MICE tourism and allowing External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) for the construction of hotels, so as to increase the tourist inflow in the country.

The development and promotion of tourism, including rationalization of luxury tax, passenger and road tax, are primarily the responsibility of the State Governments.

However, the Ministry of Tourism had written to the State Governments on 9th January, 2009 to give due consideration on these issues and also on seamless travel and safety & security of tourists in order to provide relief to tourism sector in the face of global financial crisis that is affecting the tourism sector adversely, Smt Kanti Singh added.


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