No fleecing of tourists: Sharma

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with , Ma­hesh Sharma, Min­is­ter of State for Tourism & Cul­ture (I/C) has pointed out a three-pronged strat­egy to take tourism to new heights.

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Promis­ing to take tourism to new heights, the new Tourism Min­is­ter will look at tak­ing tough ac­tion against touts, set­ting up tourist fa­cil­ity cen­tres and launch­ing heli-ser­vices. “Firstly, the Min­istry will look at set­ting up tourist fa­cil­ity cen­tres. The fa­cil­i­ta­tion cen­tres for tourists, es­pe­cially for over­seas vis­i­tors, will be set up at all in­ter­na­tional air­ports and only

Pre­vent­ing fleecing of tourists by touts will be one of my pri­or­i­ties as it is caus­ing a bad name for In­dia

au­tho­rised taxi op­er­a­tors will be al­lowed to ply on th­ese routes. We will also put a mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nism in place to boost end-to-end tourism,” Sharma re­vealed.

Se­condly, tough ac­tion against touts will be taken. Ex­press­ing con­cern over the tout men­ace, Sharma lamented, “There have been sev­eral cases of tourists, spe­cially for­eign­ers, be­ing fleeced by touts op­er­at­ing at air­ports and var­i­ous tourist spots. There will be tough ac­tion against touts who are found harassing tourists com­ing from out­side. It will not be tol­er­ated. Thus, pre­vent­ing fleecing of tourists by touts will be one of my pri­or­i­ties as it is caus­ing a bad name for In­dia.”

Thirdly, the MOT will fo­cus on the clean­li­ness drive. “In the next three months, all our

her­itage and tourist sites will be cov­ered un­der the clean­li­ness drive,” the Min­is­ter said. Sharma, who is also the Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion, also stressed on launch­ing heli-ser­vices for tourists for sev­eral tourist places to in­crease con­nec­tiv­ity. “On the lines of the ser­vice avail­able at Vaishno Devi, we will un­veil heli- ser­vices for sev­eral tourist places to boost con­nec­tiv­ity. To be­gin with, we will launch the he­li­copter ser­vice in the Bud­dhist cir­cuit,” he added.

Ma­hesh Sharma Min­is­ter of State Tourism & Cul­ture (I/C)

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