Country showcasing myriad attractions at ATM 2018 under ‘Incredible India’ banner

The Gulf and the Middle East region is an important market for India’s tourism with the past three years recording a surge in the umber of tourist arrivals from the region, officials of the India’s Ministry of Tourism said on Sunday.

India has emerged as a sought-after destination for medical/wellness for tourists from the GCC.

The percentage of foreign tourist arrivals in India for medical treatment has been increasing over the years and growing rapidly since year 2000, said Manas Ranjan Pattnaik, deputy director-general at the Ministry of Tourism.

Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, who inaugurated the India Pavillion, also attended the conference.

“India is poised to become a hub for medical tourism because of its world-class hospitals with latest technology; highly-skilled Indian physicians and surgeons; cost effective treatment; and excellent quality of care and nursing,” Pattnaik said.

Under the “Incredible India” banner, India, which received 10.18 million foreign tourists at a growth rate of 15.6 per cent, is showcasing its myriad attractions at Arabian Travel Market 2018.

“The Indian tourism outlook is very promising. There has been a consistent and positive growth of foreign tourist arrivals from the Gulf region over the last three years with the year 2017 having registered an overall growth of around 10 per cent over the previous year,” said Pattnaik.

The e-Tourist Visa facility, now extended to 163 countries, including the UAE, Jordan, Oman and Palestine, has led to the ease of travel to India. During 2017 total of 1.7 million tourists arrived on e-tourist visas compared to 1.1 million in 2016 registering a growth of 57.2 per cent. The e-visa is now available under three sub-categories – e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa and e-Medical Visa.

More than 20 participants from India, representing the travel trade, heritage, nature, culture and wellness tourism are participating in the India Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism at the ATM.

The India pavilion has participants representing the state tourism departments of Kerala, Air India, tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers/resorts, wellness, spas and Ayurveda centres.

The theme chosen for ATM-2018 is “Adventure, Yoga & Wellness Tourism”. One of the highlights of the Incredible India being showcased at ATM 2018 is the depiction of India as a multifaceted tourist destination for luxury, wildlife, and wellness/medical tourism.

India has 36 World Heritage Sites, which include historic monuments and natural wonders and are being promoted by the tour operators.

The Ministry of Tourism seeks to maintain the same pace of growth rate in international tourist arrivals over the next three years from regions, including Middle East, through a multi-pronged approach comprising proactive marketing strategies in partnership with tourism stakeholders.

Some of the countries, particularly the Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Turkey and Sudan have registered a significant growth and are emerging as major tourism generating markets for India from this region.



Issac John

Associate Business Editor of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE’s mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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