The Central government is poised to develop 75 tourism destinations in the country to international standards and the proposal is awaiting cabinet approval, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy said on Saturday.
Reddy, who was addressing a press conference here, said that the Central government planned to extend its novel initiative of setting up tourism sub divisions in Indian missions abroad, in addition to the 20 embassies where such sub divisions have already been set up in order to promote, market and brand India as a tourism destination.
"We are developing Top 75 destinations on international standards as part of the ICON project. Final cabinet approval is pending. After the approval, work will start," Reddy said.
The initiative, Reddy said, was taken on the occasion of the 75th year of India's independence.
Explaining the Central government's plans for promoting India abroad as an international tourism destination, Reddy said: "For the first time after independence, we appointed tourist officers in 20 embassies to promote, brand and market India as a tourism destination. For the first time, embassies are being used for furthering tourism. The 20 embassies are in those countries from where tourist footfall to India is the most".
Reddy said that plans are afoot to extend the initiative to other countries, where India is also popular as a tourism destination.