The government of Rajasthan is currently intending to focus on international markets in order to draw foreign visitors, who are essential for the heritage and small hotels outside the city centers and saw the largest tourism footfall in 2022 over the pre-Covid year 2019. Rajasthan anticipates that by next year, from a current average of 50%, the number of foreign visitors will surpass the pre-Covid level.
Speaking on the sidelines of 3-Day Great Indian Travel Bazaar, Gayatri Rathore, principal secretary (tourism), said, “Besides the traditional attractions, we are offering a lot of immersive experiences. Rural tourism is one of them. A policy has been launched to develop the right infrastructure in rural areas to help foreign tourists to explore and examine and feel.”
According to her, there have been more inquiries from foreign tour operators for conferences, weddings, meetings, and leisure travel. “The foreign tourist arrivals to the state are certainly increasing. But to reach the pre-Covid levels, we need a year or two.” Gayatri Rathore
Free movement of international flights were opened at borders around March last year. There was an issue with UK visas as the British citizens were required to attend visa centers in-person which was made online a few months ago.
Dipak Deva, managing director of SITA, TCI and Distant Frontiers, “Yes, the Visa issue did have an impact on British tourists coming to India. But now that’s settled, and we had good arrivals in February and March. The coming season that starts from October is expected to put us back on the road to pre-Covid levels. But the government of India needs to do some promotion to reach there next year.”
Deva claimed that the sector had survived without international visitors thanks to its domestic arrivals.
“Because of them, the hotels could run and pay the salaries to their employees. But Rajasthan, especially properties in rural areas, owned by families and heritage hotels, need foreign tourists. Now, segments like weddings, domestic leisure and MICE are driving the buoyancy. Foreign tourists will add to that momentum.”
“Airlines have increased flight frequencies to India raising the ease to travel.” - Kuldeep Singh Chandela, President of Hotel, Restaurant Association of Rajasthan
Source: Times Of India