Safety of foreign women tourists is a concern: Chiranjeevi

Safety of tourists, particularly foreign women, is a concern for the government, and the states have been told to create a congenial and friendly atmosphere for visitors, union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi said Monday.

Chairing a meeting of the National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC), Chiranjeevi said: "A few recent incidents where foreign women tourists were sexually assaulted have generated widespread negative publicity for India."

"As law and order is a state subject, I have written to all chief ministers to take effective steps to create conducive and friendly atmosphere for all tourists," he said.

The tourism minister said the sector had witnessed substantial growth in the last decade.

Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India in 2012 reached 6.58 million while the estimated number of domestic tourist visits in 2012 was 1,027 million.

"Although the growth of in-bound tourism in India has been higher than the overall growth in the world, the share of India at 0.64 percent continues to be low. We have to strive harder to increase this share," he said.

NTAC is a think tank constituted by the government, comprising experts from various fields and representatives of industry associations.

It advises the government on various aspects of tourism with the objective of promoting domestic and foreign tourism in the country.

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