New Delhi: Given its geography and rich cultural diversity, India has every reason to attract many more tourists than it presently does, but the sector remains largely unexplored, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.
“Given India’s cultural diversity and its geography, tourism should have come as a natural activity to its people,” Jaitley said while inaugurating the ‘Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit 2016’ here.
The three-day event will see participation from several ministers, senior government officials and investors from across the world.
The participants will deliberate on how to tap the immense potential of the country’s tourism sector, including religious, medical, educational and business tourism, as also how to make India a sought-after tourist destination.
Jaitley said till some time back, connectivity was a major issue, which probably put off many potential tourists, but connectivity has improved substantially now.
“Today, our airports can be compared with the best in the world. We have 70 operating airports in India and plan to start 30-35 more regional airports.
“Besides, there has been an emphasis on improving the quality of railway services. Earlier, the focus was only on expansion,” he said.
Jaitley said the national highway network was growing at an unprecedented pace, which will further enhance connectivity.
He also called for restoration and improvement of historical monuments and their marketing as tourist attractions.