Tour operators conducting business in the SAARC nations have agreed to jointly promote tourism in the region.
A Tour Operators Conclave was convened by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in New Delhi earlier this month, and in the conclave tour operators were urged to work with each other to promote tourism in the SAARC nations.
The minister for Tourism in India, Subodh Kant Sahai, said, ‘We must motivate each SAARC country in such a way that tourism becomes the focus of economic and political agenda. SAARC region has immense growth potential. If it could be fully utilized in all possible ways, the SAARC region has the potential to steer the economy of the world. The cultural diversity of the SAARC region is unique, and the combination of scenic landscapes, natural beauty, and ethnic multiplicity – only add to its international appeal. All these facts unite to make the SAARC region a great tourist attraction. In fact, most SAARC nations have already realized this potential at individual level but with a concerted effort, the success culminated would be many folds.’
The minister also lamented that the tourism sector still lacked due political and economic recognition. He also announced the launch of the ‘Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign’ that is expected to expand tourist activities in the region.
About 45 tour operators from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the conclave.
According to official figures, international tourist arrivals to Asia and the Pacific are to increase from 204 million in 2010 to 535 million in 2030.