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Google to help Incredible India site offer 3D views of monuments

The tourism minister also accused foreign media of being “hugely discriminatory” in the way it describes unfortunate incidents in India.

, ET Bureau|
Jul 18, 2018, 10.32 AM IST
The tourism ministry has roped in technology giant Google to offer 3D rotating views and a virtual reality experience of Indian monuments on its Incredible India website.

“We want to give tourists a virtual reality experience, and Google has the technology and the product,” tourism minister KJ Alphons said on Tuesday. “We hope this will inspire more people to come to India,” he said.

The ministry has also requested all the states to set up specialised police teams to protect foreign tourists, Alphons said. Currently, 14 states and union territories, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala, have tourist police.

The tourism minister also accused foreign media of being “hugely discriminatory” in the way it describes unfortunate incidents in India. “Every time there was an incident people were arrested and we took immediate action,” he said. “In a massive country like India there are bound to be isolated incidents.”

A recent survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation had ranked India as the most dangerous country for women, ahead of Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia. The finding, based on the opinion of 548 experts, has been widely criticised in India as an effort to malign the country.

“We asked the Thomson Reuters Foundation to give us list of their experts; they refused,” Alphons said. “The incidents that have happened in India are unfortunate, but I also feel the foreign media has been hugely discriminatory. What kind of surveys do they do?” he said.

ET had in its edition dated July 12 reported that the tourism ministry has circulated a letter to heads of Indian missions, trade and hospitality associations, and tourism offices abroad, highlighting the initiatives the country had undertaken to promote women safety to allay any apprehension among foreign tourists about visiting the country.

Alphons also defended his ministry’s ‘adopt a heritage’ scheme, which had run into controversy a few months ago, and said it was on track. “India’s monuments belong to the people of India. So we advertised and said come forward and adopt a heritage. The scheme is not just restricted to the corporate sector,” he said.

“Initially there were some problems at the ground level. But all that has been sorted now,” the minister said. “We shall be putting in very large number of monuments for adoption in future.”
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