Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday announced that the government will develop five special tourism zones in the next financial year.

“Tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. Five special tourism zones anchored on SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) will be set up in partnership with the states,” Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget 2017-18.

“The Incredible India’s second campaign will be launched across the world,” he added.

Jaitley in his budget allocated Rs 1,840.77 crore to the tourism ministry as against the Rs 1,590.32 crore allocated last year.

Industry experts were of the view that the tourism sector is expected to witness steady growth.

“The government recognises travel and tourism as a key sector with the potential to generate employment as well as forex, and therefore, addressed the developmental needs of the sector at a structural as well as at a consumer level,” said Simon Fiquet, General Manager, South East Asia and India, Expedia.

“The budget announced developing five special tourism zones in partnership with states and better rural infrastructure that could augment emerging trends like rural/experiential tourism,” Fiquet said.

“The government is truly focused on transforming India digitally, and with its unwavering focus on tourism, we expect the sector to witness robust growth in the coming years.”

Peter Kerkar, Director, Cox and Kings, said: “We are quite positive about the focus on rural infrastructure development, as we see a scope to promote rural tourism even further, especially for the inbound tourists.

“However, we need to know more about what all will be covered in the five special tourism zones to be developed in partnership with states.”

First Published | 1 February 2017 9:11 PM
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