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Ministry To Use Social Media To Promote Tourism

The ministry is working hard to generate more traction via social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

The Ministry of Tourism is bullish about promoting tourism by using digital tools.

"We are very active on social media and connecting people in a very meaningful way," said Suman Billa, joint secretary of the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry is working hard to generate more traction via social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

"We are investing (in social media platforms) to gain more traction," Billa told BW Businessworld.

In order to provide connectivity, tourists arriving on electronic visas are provided with SIM cards with 50 MB data and talk time.

The direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to GDP is expected to increase to Rs 6,115.5 billion in 2026.

But the country is short of hotel rooms to handle the growth in arrivals and efforts are being made to look for other types of guest accommodation.

The Tourism Ministry official pointed out the country is short of 200,000 hotel rooms at present.

"We have to bridge this gap in two ways. We need to give people better finances to build hotel and make them viable. Secondly, there is already significant inventory available with platforms such as Airbnb and Oyo Rooms, and these players can be put to productive use," he said.

The ministry is finalising guidelines across the country for operators like Airbnb. It will also accredit the aggregators to weed out bad players.


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