Mahesh Sharma, Tourism Minister said that India needs to learn from countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to increase its share in world tourism market which currently stands at less than one per cent. “India has lot to learn and lot to give to the tourism industry. Using all our strengths and initiatives, almost 6.8 per cent of GDP share comes from tourism. But we have to learn from countries like Maldives, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand specially. We are still lagging behind,” he said after inaugurating the South Asian travel show SATTE 2016 here. He said the government is “exploring the possibility” of making India a hub of medical tourism and called for the support of various stakeholders to showcase the strength of the country to the outside world.
In medical tourism sector, he expressed the need for India to learn from countries like Thailand and Malaysia which have proved their mettle in attracting foreign tourists for health-related purposes. Sharma said tourism has “manifold benefits and manifold effects” and provides a platform to foster international peace as it connects people based on the strengths of communications.
Highlighting the huge potential of tourism sector in India, he said the country has strengths to attract tourists because of its spirituality, acceptance of its yoga worldwide, 7,500 km of coastal belt, snow, natural beauty and wildlife.