India is participating in the three-day World Travel Mart starting Monday in London to showcase itself as a preferred destination for tourism, the government has said.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is ‘The Future of Travel Starts Now’.

“Ministry of Tourism, government of India will participate in World Travel Market (WTM) 2022 from 7th to 9th November in London which is one of the largest international travel exhibitions,” the ministry said in a statement.

With the reopening of the country to foreign tourists after a gap of almost two years, this year’s participation of India is particularly significant, officials said.

“After world’s largest vaccination drive, the country is ready for international tourists. India is participating in WTM 2022 to showcase itself as a preferred destination for tourism,” the ministry said in the statement issued on Saturday.

During 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to India’s GDP was 5.19 per cent of the total economy. In 2019, the Indian tourism sector accounted for 79.86 million jobs (direct and indirect employment).

The consistent efforts of the central and the state governments has helped the tourism industry to gradually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic shock to the pre pandemic levels, it said.

“A total of 16 stakeholders, including from state governments, other central ministries, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as the industry partner, DMCs, tour operators, hoteliers, travel agents, online travel agents, facilitators of medical value travel are participating as co-exhibitors in the India Pavilion,” the ministry said.

The objective is to showcase the diverse tourism products and services, including medical value travel, luxury trains and the gamut of tourism products to the international business community, officials said.

This year, the Indian delegation is being led by Arvind Singh, Union Tourism Secretary and also includes Rakesh Verma, additional secretary and other senior officials from the ministry, besides representatives from the Indian travel and tourism stakeholders, it said.

The Indian government is cognisant of the country’s potential in the tourism industry and has taken several steps to make India a global tourism hub, the ministry said.

During the visit to WTM 2022, the Indian delegation will showcase the varied tourism offerings of India to the global tourism industry stakeholders such as tour operators, travel agents and media.

As India is poised for massive growth in the tourism sector in the future, this visit shall also offer opportunity to the Indian government delegation to showcase the investment opportunities and potential which India offers to the global investors, the statement said.

India is also gearing up for the G20 Presidency which is scheduled to start from December 1.

Under its Presidency, the country is expected to host over 200 meetings across 55 cities in the country. The G-20 Presidency will give India’s tourism sector an unparalleled opportunity to highlight India’s tourism offerings and share India’s tourism success stories on a global stage, it said.

The Ministry of Tourism is aiming to develop the tourism sector, especially in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, to reach new heights and accelerate the transition to achieve sustainable development targets of 2030, it added.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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