ITALY: The G20 Ministers of Tourism and representative of international organisations recently gathered virtually to examine measures steering the recovery of the sector. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi delivered the opening address at the press conference. The discussion focused on measures steering the recovery of this sector, representing around 1 in 10 jobs globally. It also addressed several other key priorities that will be important in order to relaunch the tourism sector, including safe mobility, sustainable tourism, and green transformation of tourism. The pillars of Tourism Italy – People, Planet, and Prosperity were reflected in a set of guidelines for the future of the sector.
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Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting. The Minister congratulated Mr. Massimo Garavaglia, Minister of Tourism, and Government of Italy for holding the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in these difficult times and also thanked him for bringing together the member States for a dialogue to collaborate in protecting tourism businesses, jobs and taking initiatives to frame policy guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism.
Shri Patel said that tourism has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with unprecedented impact on jobs, businesses, communities, and the wider economy. He appreciated and supported the focus of the Italian G20 Presidency on recovery and ensuring new opportunities for People, Planet and Prosperity by putting in place Guidelines on the seven key interrelated policy areas: Safe mobility, Crisis management, Resilience, Inclusiveness, Green transformation, Digital transition and Investment and infrastructure which are comprehensive and relevant for resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism framed with the support of the OECD. He also conveyed India’s support for the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by UNWTO as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.
Shri Patel also highlighted the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Tourism to promote community-based tourism and rural tourism by involving the local population in employment opportunities and income-generating activities through sustainable and responsible tourism. Post-COVID, the Ministry’s focus would be on promoting off-beat destinations and places such as nature and eco-tourism, wildlife, wellness retreats, mountaineering, and trekking among others. Besides, India has a strong and vibrant system of traditional medicines, which provide for holistic healing. India would like to offer to the world, post COVID-19, calm, peace, and health through Yoga, Ayurveda, and other forms of traditional treatments and spiritual surroundings. The Minister expressed optimism that the tourism sector would fully recover from the impact of COVID 19 disruption and the sector will emerge stronger post COVID with the roll-out of vaccination programs across the countries.
The Minister concluded with thanks to the Italian G20 Presidency for its leadership and India will continue its support and cooperation to ensure further progress under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022.