ETW STAFF – New Delhi
Union tourism minister, K Chiranjeevi, has expressed his deep anguish at the reported attempt to assault a British tourist in Agra recently. Addressing the consultative committee of his ministry, he said that safety and security of tourists is the topmost priority of his ministry. The minister informed that he has immediately ordered suspension of the three star rating of the hotel involved in the incident. He said the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has also issued a show cause notice to the hotel asking it why its license should not be cancelled. Chiranjeevi informed the members that he has spoken to the union home minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, and requested him to put in place a proper system to ensure the safety and security of tourists especially women and children. He also informed that he has started contacting personally all the chief ministers urging them to institute an adequate safety mechanism for tourists in their respective states.
The tourism minister said that his ministry has set a target to double the receipt of international tourist arrivals by 2016 taking 2011 as base. He said, “This would mean that our foreign tourist arrivals need to register a growth of 12 per cent per annum. For the purpose, the focus of my ministry would be to improve existing infrastructure, create new infrastructure, broad base human resource development, overcome seasonality of Indian tourism by developing niche tourism products, expand the range of Indian tourism destinations by developing lesser known destinations and undertake aggressive promotional and marketing activities.”