He highlighted the potential of Himalayan and sports tourism as well as wedding destinations
Highlighting the need to think out of the box and plan ahead to take tourism in India to new heights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a call to develop 50 destinations that can attract tourists from around the world.

He was speaking at the seventh in a series of 12 post-budget webinars, which have been organized by the government to seek ideas and suggestions for effectively implementing the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.

During the webinar, PM Modi highlighted the potential for tourism across the country and listed several areas that could be developed, including coastal tourism, beach tourism, mangrove tourism, Himalayan tourism, adventure tourism, wildlife tourism, eco-tourism, heritage tourism, spiritual tourism, wedding destinations, tourism via conferences and sports tourism.

He also gave the example of Ramayan Circuit, Buddha Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Northeast Circuit, Gandhi Circuit, and pilgrimages of all saints.

The Prime Minister underlined the need for good digital connectivity, excellent infrastructure, cleanliness, and the absence of filth, as well as good hotels and hospitals to make India an attractive destination for tourists.

At the same time, he also noted the growing attraction towards the country, pointing to an increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting India. According to Prime Minister Modi, 8 lakh foreign tourists had come to India in January this year compared to only 2 lakhs in January last year.

During the webinar, Prime Minister Modi stated that the increase in the facilities leads to an increase in the attraction among the tourists. He gave some examples.

Kashi Vishwanath Dham, Varanasi: About 80 lakh people used to visit the temple in a year before it was rebuilt, but the tourist footfall crossed 7 crores last year after the renovation.

Baba Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand: PM Modi informed that 15 lakh devotees have gone to see Baba Kedar compared to only 4-5 lakhs before the completion of reconstruction work in Kedarghati.

Pavagadh, Gujarat: The Prime Minister informed that 80 thousand pilgrims go for the darshan of Maa Kalika compared to only 4 to 5 thousand people before the renovation.

The Prime Minister noted that the increase in facilities has a direct impact on the number of tourists and the increasing numbers mean more opportunities for employment and self-employment. He also touched upon the Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world and informed that 27 lakh tourists visited the place within a year of its completion.

Furthermore, PM Modi discussed the importance of developing tourism in rural areas, highlighting that remote villages were now coming up on the tourism map due to their improving infrastructure. He informed that the Central Government has started the Vibrant Village Scheme for the villages situated along the border and emphasized the need to support businesses such as homestays, small hotels, and restaurants.