The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers begins in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

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The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers begins in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
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The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers begins in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

National Tourism Policy will be brought out before the next budget session: Sh. G. Kishan Reddy

G-20 will provide a platform to showcase the country’s tourism potential to the world: Sh G. Kishan Reddy

By PIB Chandigarh

The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, began today with a press conference chaired by Shri G. Kishan Reddy. The National Conference of State Tourism Ministers aims to bring in diverse viewpoints and perspectives from all the States and Union Territories of India on tourism development and growth and to create a direct dialogue with the States on Schemes, policies, and steps being taken at a national level for overall tourism improvement in India. The National Conference also aims to be a platform for sharing of best practices, successful projects, and tourism product opportunities. During the press conference, MoS Tourism Shri Ajay Bhatt and MoS Tourism Shri Shripad Naik, Chairman FAITH Shri Nakul Anand, and DG Tourism Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao were also present. 

During the Press Conference, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DONER stated that in the past 75 years, India has become synonymous with tourism, spirituality, transformation, culture, and diversity. It is a matter of great pride to celebrate the record-breaking expansion, leading India to become the 5th largest economy in the world. As such, establishing the tourism sector as the primary concern, the Ministry of Tourism has undertaken various initiatives and taken a four-fold development strategy that focuses on improving the connectivity via air, rail, and roads, enhancing the tourism infrastructure and dependent services, streamlining branding and promotion and showcasing the culture and heritage. 

Highlighting the slogan of ‘Vikas Bhi Virasat Bhi’ given by the Prime Minister, Sh Kishan Reddy, that after the vast process of consultations and deliberations, the National Tourism Policy will be brought out before the Budget session. He also informed that various tourist circuits are being promoted and a new ‘Ambedkar Circuit’ shall soon be launched. The Himalayan Circuit will also be promoted under the action plan for the development of tourist circuits, Sh G. Kishan Reddy elaborated.

The Union Tourism Minister further added that the National Conference of State Tourism Ministers is also important in the current context of India’s G20 presidency. G-20 will be used as a platform to showcase India’s tourism potential to the world, he disclosed. 

Emphasizing the importance of air connectivity Sh G. Kishan Reddy said that the number of airports in the country has increased from 74 in 2014 to 140 now, and it is further proposed to increase the number of airports to 220 by 2025. 

He also said that the Prime Minister’s vision of associating the Indian diaspora and NRIs for promoting tourism will be encouraged and urged each diaspora Indian to motivate at least 5 foreigners to visit India as per the vision of our PM.

The financial assistance to the tourism sector, which is the biggest suffered due to Covid 19, continues to be extended up to 31st March 2023, he said.

The Tourism sector generated INR 16.91 lakh crore (USD 240 billion) or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 and has supported around 42.67 million jobs or 8.1% of total employment.

The Conference is divided into thematic sessions on Development of Tourism Infrastructure, Cultural, Spiritual & Heritage tourism, Tourism in the Himalayan states, Responsible and sustainable tourism, Role of digital technology for the marketing and promotion of tourism destinations, Emerging importance of homestays in the Indian hospitality sector, Ayurveda, Wellness, and Medical Value travel, and lastly on Forest and wildlife tourism.

The Ministry has sanctioned Rs 7000 crores for the development of tourism infrastructure throughout the country. A number of 76 projects have been sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 30 states and UTs for building tourist infrastructure across various themes. The PRASHAD Scheme aims to strengthen the tourist facilities around spiritual locations, under which 39 projects have been sanctioned in 24 States. The infrastructure development for these tourists, pilgrims, and heritage destinations/cities focuses on cleanliness, security, universal accessibility, service delivery, skill development, and the livelihood of local communities. The Ministry has recently launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0 with the objective of developing sustainable and responsible destinations following a tourist & destination-centric approach. It is a development of the previous Schemes and would and the objective is to evolve as a holistic mission to develop sustainable and responsible tourist destinations covering tourism and allied infrastructure, tourism services, human capital development, destination management and promotion backed by policy and institutional reforms.

The National Conference also aims to build a common vision for tourism and its growth as we move towards India in 2047. The upcoming 25 years being the Amrit Kaal, the aim of the Conference is to begin a common conversation between the State and Central Governments for setting the vision for tourism in India in the year 2047.

Shri Ajay Bhatt, Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism and Defense, and Shri Shripad Naik, Hon`ble Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping, and Waterways along with Sh. Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary (Tourism), and other senior dignitaries were also present at the event.

After the Press Conference, the event was also attended by Sh. Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. 

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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