State Affairs

Andaman mulls subsidising airfare to boost tourism

PORT BLAIR

The Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) administration has undertaken a massive tourism development drive under the leadership of its Lieutenant Governor Lt Gen AK Singh. Development of tourism has a huge social connect here as this sector is the second-highest employment generator for the islanders after the government.

During a recent media interaction, Lt Gen Singh said, “Though the beauty of this group of islands is unparalleled, yet it doesn’t attract the number of tourists it should. And the main reason for this tourist apathy is the prohibitive cost of air travel.”

Lt Gen Singh, who hit the ground running to give these islands a facelift after he took charge on July 8, 2013, is determined to make airfares to Port Blair affordable so that more and more tourists can fly down.

“As it is, very few airlines operate in this sector. Barring Air India, all others are private carriers, so having control over their fare structure is out of question. Now we’re thinking of somehow subsidising airfare for tourists who are flying to Port Blair from the mainland. I’ve taken up this issue with the civil aviation ministry and, hopefully, it’ll come through,” Lt Gen Singh said.

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