Naik, who hails from Goa, said that development of tourism infrastructure is essential for the growth of the sector. He also said that issues concerning visa and security need to be addressed and a tourist should feel safe in the country.

"There are some problems regarding visa and security of tourists and these will be addressed to attract more foreign visitors to the country," Naik said.

Referring to incidents involving foreign tourists, he said, "There are some incidents in the past which have created a bad name for the country. We need to address that; a tourist should feel safe here."

Naik, who has also been given charge of the Culture Ministry, said that the tourism sector has job-creating capacity and should be given a boost through collective efforts.

Seeking the cooperation of other ministries, he said, "We need support from the Civil Aviation, Home and other departments concerned to boost tourism as the ministry alone cannot do much on its own."

When asked if he had any plans for the Ganga and Varanasi, the temple town on the banks of the holy river from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi won in the Lok Sabha polls, Naik said, "We want to develop Varanasi as a tourist city and I will discuss the issue with the Prime Minister. He has a vision for the holy city and accordingly it will be done."

The Tourism Ministry recently sanctioned Rs 18 crore for the development of Varanasi ghats and construction of jetties there.


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