External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that international tourist footfall in the country will increase if domestic tourism is promoted by people by way of sharing their experiences about the places they visit.
He was talking to reporters here on the second day of his two-day Gujarat tour, during which he visited the villages adopted by him under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana in Narmada, a tribal-dominated district.
"There are a lot of things in our country that we ourselves don't know about, and even if we know, we don't introduce them to others...International tourism will increase only when domestic tourism increases," Jaishankar said.
"If we see people giving examples, enjoying the place and sending out messages and sharing experiences (about a place), then it will have an impact on the public," he said.
There is a huge possibility for tourism in Narmada, which is being connected via road from Kevadia, the site of the world's tallest statue - the Statue of Unity, the minister said.
"We should promote this place, and there is a huge possibility for tourism in the region," he added.
Sharing his experiences in the region, the Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat said that when he stopped for dinner last night, he felt like he was at a hill station.
"If I told people I went to a hill station in Gujarat, they wouldn't believe me because they don't associate Gujarat with a hill station," he said.
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar spent time at a sports complex in Chhotubhai Purani College of Physical Education.
On Friday, the minister visited the villages adopted by him under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana where he performed the ground breaking ceremony for two "smart anganwadis", inspected health and wellness centres, visited Ekta Skill Development Centre, and met villagers.
He also visited a mobile X-ray van granted to the people under Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme in 2020 and saw women at Nari Shakti Kendra make sustainable products.
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