Tourism gets Rs.91 crore more, focus on ‘Incredible India’

New Delhi, Feb 26 (Calcutta Tube) India’s tourism budget was Friday pegged at Rs.1,119.41 crore (Rs.11.19 billion/$242.4 million) — a nine percent increase over the previous year allocation — with almost one-third of it earmarked for the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

The sector received Rs.91 crore more than the amount allocated in the current fiscal.

Tourism Minister Kumari Selja welcomed the proposals in the budget and thanked Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for encouraging the sector.

Of the Rs.1,119 crore, Rs.1,050 crore is under planned outlay and the rest is under non-planned outlay for the tourism sector.

As per the 2009-10 revised budget, India allocated Rs.1,020 crore, which was just a token increase of Rs.20 crore from the 2008-09 budget.

With the tourism sector feeling the pinch of the Mumbai attack, swine flu scare and economic downturn, the government seems to focus more on campaign overseas next fiscal. About Rs.342 crore, an increase of over 15 percent from the previous budget, has been allocated to the ‘Incredible India’ campaign aimed at wooing foreign visitors.

The ‘Incredible India’ campaign, showcasing major holiday destinations, has been quite successful and picked up many prestigious international awards.

About Rs.67 crore has been allocated for promoting domestic tourism. The amount was Rs.56 crore in the previous budget.

In 2009, about 5.11 million foreign tourists visited India compared to 5.28 million in 2008.

Tourist infrastructure also got an over six percent increased allocation.

About Rs.470 crore has been earmarked for creating new infrastructural facilities like constructing budget accommodations, wayside amenities, tourist reception centres, refurbishment of monuments, adventure and sports facilities and illumination of monuments. In the last budget, the figure was Rs.442 crore.

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