Drop in foreign tourists to Taj Mahal


New Delhi, Mar 17: There has been a constant fall in the number of foreign tourists visiting Taj Mahal over the last few years though the government has undertaken various steps to ensure tourism-friendly environment in the country, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

As per the data provided by Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, 7.43 lakh foreign tourists visited the 17th century monument in Agra in 2012. The number fell to 6.95 lakh in 2013 and slumped further to 6.48 lakh in 2014.

Sharma while responding to a question said, “No market study has been done to pinpoint the reason for the drop in foreign tourist footfalls to Taj Mahal.”

He, however, said some of the factors determining  foreign tourists arrival to any place, including Taj Mahal, are: prevailing travel trends, economies of tourism source markets, connectivity, availability of reasonably priced hotel accomodation and good tourism infrastructure.

To another question, the Minister replied the government has undertaken various initiatives to ensure safety and security of tourists such as a toll-free multi-lingual tourist helpline and a code of conduct for safer tourism.

He said state chief ministers and UT administrators  have been asked to take immediate steps for ensuring a conducive and friendly environment for all tourists.

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