India pavilion
India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An event at India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai heard a top official highlight India’s potential as a spiritual tourism hub on Saturday.

Speaking virtually at a session on ‘Investment Opportunities in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality’, Rupinder Brar, additional director-general of India’s Ministry of Tourism said India is focused towards showcasing the strength of the religions and philosophies of India to the world.

The session was held on Saturday during ‘Tourism Fortnight’ at India Pavilion.

“Tourism has exponential possibilities to boost the entire services industry in the next decade. Being the largest service industry of the country, it has a high impact on employment, export earnings and regional development and thus is a key engine of India’s growth story,” Brar said.

Rupinder Brar addressing the virtual session Image Credit: Screengrab

Making a pitch for investment opportunities available in the Indian tourism sector, she added: “Despite the pandemic, India saw an inflow of $2.93 billion of investment in tourism, as compared to $1.07 billion in the financial year 2019. In terms of the market size and business potential, there is a huge untapped business opportunity available in the Indian tourism sector.”

Shilpa Gupta, additional managing director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said: “The state of Madhya Pradesh is a microcosm of everything that India has to offer to the world. I would like to invite all the potential investors to come and invest in the tourism sector of the state.”

Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav, director, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha, in his virtual address said that tourism is one of the key sectors for the state of Odisha. The state has a very diverse tourism offering, starting from religious places to coastlines and wetlands to wildlife.

Luxury tourism

A session on ‘Luxury Tourism’ was also organised by the Ministry of Tourism, wherein it focused on showcasing the changing face of luxury tourism in India, luxury tourist destinations across the country and initiatives taken by the Indian government to make travel safe and secure.

The Tourism Week at India Pavilion will conclude on January 15.