"India's share of world tourism market at present is only 0.58 per cent. Our target is to take this share to at least
one per cent by the end of 12th Five-Year Plan," Tourism Minister Subodhkant Sahai told reporters.
"There is a need to involve states to ensure inter- departmental convergence as well as enhanced budget outlays for tourism. Tourism has to be made an important part of economic and political agenda of the states."
To a question on poor road connectivity from tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh like between Bhopal and Khajuraho due to badly maintained national highways, Sahai assured he would raise the issue with the Ministry concerned.
The Minister informed that at major tourist places like Agra, they are improving rail infrastructure and providing better facilities to the travellers.
Besides developing circuits like Gwalior-Khajuraho- Jhansi and Bandhavgarh-Amarkantak-Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh, the Ministry plans to promote religious tourism by developing Sufi, Jain, Sikh and Hindu tourist circuits, Sahai said.
Referring to Gondarmau, birthplace of Maharishi Patanjali - the compiler of Yoga Sutras - which is situated close to Bhopal, Sahai advised the MP Government to set up necessary infrastructure at the place to give fillip to wellness tourism, which has immense potential in India.
He informed that his Ministry has sanctioned a project for developing Chitrakoot (MP) as a mega spiritual and wellness destination.
Earlier, addressing the inaugural function of second Patanjali Week at Gondarmau, Sahai said a fully-equipped yoga centre will be opened at the site in cooperation with the State Government.
He said medical, wellness and religious tourism are important components of the Centre's policy to attract holiday -makers. Yoga and ayurveda have direct relation with these three areas.
The function was also addressed by Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.