India not off safe list in important travel destinations: Govt

New Delhi: Countries , which are important from tourism point of view, have not struck India off from the list of safe travel destinations for its citizens even as some nations have advised caution while touring some parts of the country, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

“Important source markets like the US, Germany, Canada, France, Australia and Russia have not struck India from the list of safe travel destinations for its citizens,” Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said in a written reply.

However, some countries have “advised their citizens to exercise caution while travelling to some parts of India”, he said.

Responding to another query, he said as many as 384 cases were registered for crimes against foreign tourists in 2014 with Delhi reporting the highest, 135.

As many as 66 cases were reported in Goa, followed by 64 in Uttar Pradesh, 31 in Rajasthan and 25 in Maharashtra.

However, there is a “continuous increase” in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) with over 80 lakh travellers coming to India in 2015, against 76.79 lakh in 2014 and 69.67 lakh in 2013, Sharma said.

To another query, the Minister said the government has taken various initiatives to ensure safety and security of tourists, including launching toll-free multi-lingual tourist helpline and adoption of code of conduct for safer tourism.

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