Monsoon season boosts domestic tourism

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) India’s domestic tourism has risen by 23.5 percent this monsoon season against 18.5 percent last year, an industry chamber survey said on Wednesday.

“Due to low tariff rates and discounts offered by hotels, resorts and airlines, India’s domestic tourism has gone up by 23.5 percent during the monsoon season as compared to 18.5 percent last year,” the associated chambers of commerce and industry of India (Assocham) said.

There has been a surge in travel by Indians within the country in the last three years during the monsoon season.

“The demand is driven by the growing middle class, rising incomes and a discount by hotels, airlines and tour operators for the period,” it added.

“The travel packages are offering an opportunity to travel for up to 20-25 percent lower prices in India,” Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat said.

The survey, carried out in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Ahemdabad showed that “this year, domestic tourists are coming out in large numbers during the monsoon.”

“Many states are promoting monsoon tourism in a big way with special deals on offer at hotels and resorts,” Assocham said.

As per the study Goa, Kerala, Ladakh, Jaipur, Agra and Udaipur are among the most popular destinations for monsoon travel.

In this connection, parliament was told last week that the ministry of tourism is currently formulating a National Tourism Policy 2015 with the aim of positioning India as a “must experience” and “must revisit” destination for foreigners and to encourage domestic tourism.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma told the Lok Sabha in a written reply that following last fiscal budget announcements, the ministry has launched the Swadesh Darshan scheme for integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits and a national mission on pilgrimage rejuvenation and spiritual augmentation drive (PRASAD) “to beautify and improve the amenities and infrastructure at pilgrimage centres of all faiths.”

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