Kant suggested focusing on developing five key states as tourism hubs and leveraging private sector expertise to unlock the country's potential in this multi-billion dollar market, particularly in the MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segment where India currently has a minimal share.
"There is a need for a dynamic and digital version of the 'Incredible India' campaign which should penetrate every single market. This is critical because foreign tourists are critical for India. About eleven states have given tourism an industry status, but many have not extended the benefits.
We need to really work hard and really push state governments to do this. The Centre also needs to make it an industry as it is a job creator industry. Somewhere the industry has failed to tell this story.
Thailand has created close to 20 million tourism related jobs, while Malaysia has created 15 million. India too has created seven million jobs," he added. Kant said that overall economic growth will naturally boost tourism and that infrastructure development like new airports will further contribute to the sector's success.
However, he added that the sector “should not worry too much about the outlay which has been provided to the ministry of tourism". Kant said this was because tourism is a multi-dimensional sector and with airports coming up around the country, tourism will automatically grow.
Kant emphasizes the urgency of boosting foreign tourism, citing its value contribution and job creation potential. Despite India's economic climb and infrastructure development, the government's recent decrease in overseas tourism promotion budget raises concerns.