Admitting that recent incidents such as assault on foreign women tourists have generated negative publicity for India, Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi on Monday said safety of foreign tourists remains a matter of concern and he has written to all the Chief Ministers to take steps to create conducive and friendly atmosphere for them.

While chairing the meeting of National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) held in the national capital, he said, “A few recent incidents, where foreign women tourists were sexually assaulted, have generated widespread negative publicity for India.”

He added, “As law and order is a State subject, I have written to all Chief Ministers to take effective steps to create conducive and friendly atmosphere for all tourists”.

Pointing out that the sector has witnessed substantial growth in the last decade. The minister said Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during 2012 have reached 6.58 million. The estimated number of domestic tourist visits in 2012 was 1027 million.

On the role of private sector to boost the industry, Mr. Chiranjeevi said, “We need active involvement of the corporate sector, to adopt important tourist sites and monuments under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).”

To set precedent, the ITDC has come forward and adopted the Qutub Minar. Now ONGC has come forward to adopt six monuments - Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Elephanta caves, Ellora caves, Mahabalipuram, and Golconda Fort, he said, adding, “We have identified about 120 monuments across the country that can be given for adoption."

NTAC is a think tank constituted by the government. It comprises of experts from various fields, including representatives of industry associations as well as other ministries and advises the Tourism ministry on various aspects of tourism with the objective of promoting domestic and foreign tourism in the country.

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