Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (Independent Charge), Government of India made an address at the inauguration ceremony of 24th edition of SATTE, India's Flagship Travel & Tourism Expo hosted by UBM India.
I can see Inder Sharma Ji, I can see the faces over here who have really nurtured this industry and make India also a micro participant when we see that we share a less percentage of World Tourism. But India is going ahead and heading towards making an impact in Tourism Industry and with the great vision of our Prime Minister when we want to take all issues related to the tourism to newer heights. India is a land of spirituality, divinity, through the knowledge and wisdom of Vedas and the Upanishads. Every corner and every particle of this country speak of the Rama Katha of Lord Rama and where every green leaf speaks of Lord Krishna's geeta Sandesh to us. Where every place we talk on non-violence we speak of Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha. We are proud of saying that 7 of the 8 remembrances places comes out of India. It is a matter of pride for us.
When we speak of Indian Music, we say that yea, we have Amir Khusro and Nizamuddin Auliya with us who have inspired the music in our country. India is the real land where we say that if tourism is our face, our soul is our culture and this is our strength. Whenever we talk, we talk about our pride of our rich, heritage and culture even the world is vouching for that. I was hearing that in the country like America and Chicago, young students firing on each other and this message should go from the land of Lord Buddha, Lord Mahavira and Mahatama Gandhi that yes the truth and non-violence is that way India can show that we are concerned about it. Making tourism, making incredible India and taking it to the whole world. Yes, we have taken initiatives to almost 160 countries connected through e-visa facility it is a vision of our government to take tourism to the new heights. Yes we are taking care of our infrastructure through Ministry of Roads and Transport.
We have launched regional connectivity scheme where we have 50 more airports to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of the country. One hour of flying time by 2500 rupees that is about 40 dollars or so. These are some of the initiatives we are taking in Indian Tourism Industry. During SATTE 2017, he mentioned that we have 7500 km of coastline to tap but we are lacking behind cruise tourism. Our secretary culture, Mr. Vinod Zutshi is here, the team leader of this department and the industry which is supposed to take this industry of cruise tourism in a big way and India can be a place of giants. We are the place with a multiplicity of tourism. Beautiful four weather, with 73% of Himalayas with us. But we need help from friends like you. Our PM has a great vision that is hospitality industry, let's join hands with them. I was talking to the Indian Tourism Development Corporation that we have about 16 hotels. But, this is wrong. The government has no business to do business. Let's strengthen our people, let's strengthen our private partnership in the form of tourism with our stakeholders in different facilities. And I am sure in SATTE where we have all gathered there will be a massive support for the tourism industry, not only in India but also worldwide. We at government will take medical tourism of this in a big way also. From a general tourism perspective, we understand the issues pending from the tourism industry like a problem of guides which is bought into my knowledge and I am trying to settle this issue. Even the taxation part we are discussing and have taken up to the finance minister. Yes we are at government level at Ministry of Tourism are with we need your partnership to take tourism industry to newer heights. My big salute to all of you present here and my special thanks to Excellency from Malaysia. My regards to you and all the delegates who have come from almost 40 countries to participate in this big event where almost 30 tourists force from the world have gathered to discuss tourism in SATTE. My big thanks goes to UBM for successfully organizing the event every year."