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Govt appoints tourism officers in 20 missions

With Covid-19 halting foreign tourist arrivals for over 18 months and the government now looking to gain a significant market share, the Ministry is making a renewed effort.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
October 27, 2021 11:24:43 pm
Indian tourism, tourism, tourism sector, G Kishan Reddy, Kishan Reddy, S Jaishankar, Jaishankar, Covid, Covid-19, coronavirus, travel. travel restrictionsThe list of Indian missions where the tourism officers have been appointed comprises Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, The Netherlands, UK, and the US. (Pixabay)

The government has appointed tourism officers in missions in 20 countries whose citizens make up a chunk of the tourist visitors to India. These countries include the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, France and Singapore.

The tourism officers in these embassies and high commissions will be the point of contact for the Ministry of Tourism and other tourism stakeholders.

In a tweet, Union Tourism Minister, G Kishan Reddy, thanked the Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for accepting his request and clearing the appointment of these tourism officers. “I would like to thank Hon’ble EAM Sri S Jaishankar garu for his speedy response to my letter requesting for dedicated Tourism Officers in 20 Missions abroad. We now have Tourism Officers identified in 20 Missions abroad, where we have large tourist footfalls,” Reddy tweeted earlier this week.

As of now, the Tourism Ministry attempts to position India as a preferred tourism destination , through its eight offices overseas. With Covid-19 halting foreign tourist arrivals for over 18 months and the government now looking to gain a significant market share, the Ministry is making a renewed effort.

In a notification, the Ministry of External Affairs said the Tourism Minister has written to the External Affairs Ministers regarding appointment of tourism officers in 20 Indian missions. The list of Indian missions where the tourism officers have been appointed comprises Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, The Netherlands, UK, and the US.

In 2018, the Centre shut seven of its 14 overseas tourist offices, including ones in Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto and London.

Arguing that in today’s digital world, so many overseas offices were not required, then Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons had told The Indian Express: “The plan is to reshape these 14 offices into eight regional hubs for greater efficiency… The offices in Toronto and Los Angeles are the first ones to be wound up.”

The offices in Paris (France), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Milan (Italy), Sydney (Australia) and Johannesburg (South Africa) were shut, while those in New York (US), Beijing (China), Singapore, Tokyo (Japan), Dubai (UAE), Frankfurt (Germany) and London (UK) continue to operate, while a new office was added in Moscow to cater to the increased tourist inflow from eastern Europe.

According to sources in the Tourism Ministry, the move follows an internal survey conducted by the Overseas Marketing Division in Delhi to assess the cost of running these overseas offices in comparison to the revenues they are generating from the respective markets. The study had found that several offices are “unprofitable”.

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