INDIA. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Om Birla, delivered the keynote address at “Tourism for Inclusive Growth” event organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India recently to mark the World Tourism Day, 2021. Union Minister of Tourism, Culture Shri G. Kishan Reddy and MoS for Tourism Shri Shripad Yesso Naik also graced the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Birla said that post-COVID, the tourism sector is reviving in India at a faster pace. He further said that committed and collective efforts will ensure that India will emerge as the best tourist destination in the world. “The way we collectively defeated COVID-19, our collective force and coordinated efforts will take our economy to a new height”, said Shri Birla. Tourism is one of the growth engines of economy and employment.
On the vast tourism potential in India, Shri Birla said that our rich cultural heritage and diverse geography attract tourists from all over the world. There is tremendous potential in India in the fields of environment, spirituality, education, and medical tourism. India’s domestic and foreign policies have provided an enabling environment for the promotion of tourism. Our goal must be to make India the number one tourist destination. Shri Birla emphasised the use of information technology tools in promoting tourism both at the domestic and international levels.
Speaking on the roadmap for boosting tourism, Shri Birla suggested that ambitious and sustained efforts are needed to promote rural tourism. This will strengthen the rural economy by creating demands for handicrafts and other rural products. Similarly, tourist destinations which are still secrets should be brought on the tourism map of India so that more and more people know about these destinations, he suggested.
On this occasion, Shri Birla launched NIDHI 2.0 (National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry) and released “India Tourism Statistics: At a Glance, 2021. NIDHI 2.0 database which was released today will be a milestone in this endeavour, hoped Shri Birla. The Ministry of Tourism, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and The Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) have signed an MoU to actively promote and support ‘sustainability initiatives’ in the tourism sector, which was also exchanged at the event.
The Union Tourism Minister, Shri G Kishan Reddy while addressing the gathering said, “The tourism sector is one of those few sectors which have suffered a lot due to this pandemic and the early resumption of tourism is very important for the recovery and growth of this sector”. He added, “As of date, India has already administered over 85 crores vaccination doses to its citizens. With the ongoing aggressive vaccination strategy, we are now a step closer to the reopening of the country to tourism at the beginning of the New Year. I am grateful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his relentless focus on vaccination,” he added.
He lauded the efforts of the ministry and said “The National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) is the ministry’s portal to register accommodation units in the country and as of date 44,024 units have been registered on the portal which was activated on 08.06.2020”.
Shri Reddy said, “The Prime Minister’s vision has been to use Tourism as a tool for employment generation and inclusive development”. The Tourism Sector has the highest job-creating potential among the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, he added. Earlier in the day, the Minister had penned an article in a leading news daily that highlighted the significance of the Tourism sector for Employment generation and inclusive growth. The Minister tweeted it through his social media platform.
MoS for Tourism Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, in his address, said that the revival of Tourism plays an important role in the recovery of the global economy. Tourism sustainability is relevant for both developed and developing countries for its impacts on the environment, economy, and socio-cultural aspects of global, regional, and local economies. Shri Naik added that by adopting Responsible Tourism practices, tourism plays an important role in the upliftment and involvement of the local community with the hospitality industry and government departments, leading to empowerment and development of the people in the area while sustaining eco-friendly tourism.
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