(Tuesday, 17 May 2022)


I am delighted to participate in Incredible India Reconnect 2022 – a virtual Roadshow for the Singapore Travel Market.

  1. We have here today senior representatives of the key Ministries in the Government of India - Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Civil Aviation, apart from the High Commission of India in Singapore.
  1. Most importantly, we have participation from the Singapore tourism industry as well as representatives from the Indian travel and tourism industry. I am particularly delighted that we will be hearing from Singaporean colleagues who have first hand experience of dealing with tourists interested in the Indian market.
  1. Any such event is always meaningful because India and Singapore share civilizational bonds and cultural and people-to-people relations spanning many centuries.
  1. The event is particularly relevant today because we are finally turning a corner after a couple of difficult years, during which connectivity had reduced, health risks were paramount and pandemic-related restrictions had made travel costly and difficult.
  1. India has fully resumed scheduled commercial international flights starting from March 27. The Government of India has also restored the e-visa system applicable to citizens of 156 countries including Singapore. At least six carriers are flying directly between Singapore and 15 cities in India. The Covid situation in both Singapore and India has significantly improved. Our connectivity is soon expected to match the levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.  In the case of India, the world’s biggest vaccination programme has delivered high vaccination rates across the country. The Indian tourism industry has used the difficult pandemic years to further reflect upon and improve the experience for global travellers, while ensuring health and safety. Incredible India is ready to welcome travellers from Singapore. 
  1. India has become a premier multi-product tourism destination globally. In 2019, 11 million tourists visited India. The potential for further growth is huge, given the diversity of tourism destinations and offerings, the rapid upgradation in the last few years in transport and tourism infrastructure, digitalisation, and the potential for foreign investors to invest in the tourism and hospitality sector in India. Special attention is also being paid by the tourism industry to offer innovative products such as sustainable tourism, rural tourism, gastronomic tourism etc.
  1. Singapore has traditionally been one of the important source markets for inbound tourists from the ASEAN region. During 2019, India recorded around 190,000 Foreign Tourist Arrivals from Singapore, making it one of the top 15 sources of tourism for India.  India also happens to be one of the main source markets for inbound tourism to Singapore.  In 2019, around 1.42 million Indian tourists visited Singapore. In just the first three months in 2022, nearly 54,000 tourists have visited Singapore from India.
  1. Visas have been significantly liberalized over the past few years, with 21 categories of visas given by India with various sub-categories, including tourist visa, medical visa, business visa, conference visa, student and research visa, film visa, journalist visa, sports visa and intern visa.
  1. The stressful period of the past two years is a compelling driver for foreign tourists to look at India, which has always a unique and incredible destination, with one of the widest range of wellness tourism offerings in the world, seasoned by millennia of traditional knowledge.
  1. Our tourism Ministry colleagues have put together a programme to showcase India’s diversity – culture, flora and fauna, rituals, costumes, artworks, handicrafts, music, dance, the magic of cinema, festivals, but also adventure tourism, wellness tourism as well as tailored luxury offerings that will certainly appeal to the Singapore market. We are also hapy about the good progress made in developing a comprehensive tourism strategy for India, and look forward to its effective implementation in the coming years.
  1. I would like to reiterate the support of High Commission of India in Singapore to the efforts of the tourism and travel industry. We look forward to a meaningful session today.

          Thank you.