Agartala: In a bid to attract a large number of tourists in the state, the Tripura government on Tuesday gave approval for adopting a new tourism policy for the next five years, said education minister Ratan Lal Nath at the civil secretariat in Agartala.
Speaking at a press conference, Nath said that the council of ministers has decided to formulate the tourism policy for the next five years to develop the tourism sector in the state.
“In 2008, the tourism corporation was established and in 2013 it was separated from ICAT, but no new tourism policy was formulated to develop the sector by the state government. We have had an income of around Rs 3 crore and now we have initiated to boost the tourism in the state,” Nath said.
He also said that tourism in Tripura continued to develop in an unorganised way manner with various departments engaged in tourism development and facilitation but working in isolation with each other.
“There is an urgent need to put all such efforts together with participation from all fields to develop tourism. Our vision is to promote sustainable tourism in Tripura with an emphasis on enhancing tourism and placing Tripura on the tourism map of the world,” Nath added.
Speaking further, he said that about 1.74 crore foreigners visit India in a year as per 2019 data and foreign exchange earning India makes out of the visit is Rs 1,94,892 crore, as per Indian tourism statistics.
The highest number of foreign tourists comes from France with about 8.69 crore followed by Spain at 8.19 crore and the US at 7.69 crore. India ranked 25th with 1.74 crore visitors in 2019.
In 2017-18, tourists including domestic and foreign visiting Tripura was 4.83 lakh, while in 2018-2019 the number was 5.29 lakh. In 2019-20 the number is expected to cross the 6 lakh mark.
Among the tourists visiting Tripura, the highest are from Bangladesh followed by USA, Canada and UK. Siberia, Sweden, Hungary and New Zealand tourists also visit the state and Tripura can earn at least Rs 1,000 crore by taking required measures.
He also said that the cabinet has decided to write to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and ask the authority to approach UNESCO so that the Unakoti is recognised as a World Heritage Site (WHS).
“With the reorganisation by UNESCO, Unakoti will receive more tourists and the state will also have a generation of employment and economy. We also want to have all-season tourists visiting the state so measure to develop the tourism sector have been taken,” Nath said.
The state government has decided to develop in eco-tourism, adventure, spiritual tourism, ethnic tourism, tea and golf tourism, wellness, border, art and craft and environment are on the list.
“To highlight rich culture, bio-diversity, heritage, wildlife, and heritage so as to provide the unique experience of unexploited wonderland and to disseminate Tripura’s rich culture and traditional aspects related to the ancient kingdom and establishing the tourism infrastructure,” Nath added.
He also said that the government will increase the budget in the health, education, tourism and additional funds will be allocated to develop the sectors.