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Monday, 03 June, 2019, 16 : 27 PM [IST]

Tourism Positive Verdict

The country has given a verdict for continuity that too with overwhelming majority to the incumbent Prime Minister and his government. The signals are quite positive for the country in general and the business and industry in the country in particular. The expectations are also quite high this time as there is a feeling that new team under Prime Minister Modi will pursue the pro-development policies started in his first term and will carry the unfinished agenda from the last term more vigorously.

For India’s travel and tourism industry, although the last five years have not been much exciting as expected, it was not bad either. The government had seized upon many bottlenecks that hamper the tourism growth of the country and tried to address them as quickly as possible. Some important decisions surely came too late, especially correcting the maladies of e-visa regime, the CRZ holdups, etc., and therefore the fruits of those decisions will only start deriving in the coming years.

What is important at this juncture is whether the new government would be ready to give a new direction for India’s tourism. So far, irrespective of the government in power, the focus has been on promoting the culture and heritage of the country to sell it to the international travellers. The undue stress on the culture and heritage had a limited appeal and that too to a niche segment of travellers above a certain age. India to grow as an international tourist destination needs to develop products which appeal to wide spectrum of travellers.

In this respect, there were positive recommendations in the ‘New India@75’ strategy document prepared and published by the NITI Aayog in December last year. Pertaining to Indian tourism, it proposes developing river cruises, building deep water marinas in the coastal areas, and creating enabling policies for water sports activities including scuba diving on the Mumbai coast and in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The vision document also proposes developing at least five beach destinations as exclusive tourism zones, developing 100 ‘Smart Tourist Destination Sites’ showcasing theme-based museums and heritage sites and developing 100 ‘Model Swachh Tourist Destinations’, etc.

It’s important the new government moved faster and implemented these recommendations so that Incredible India starts receiving the elusive international leisure tourists. Another task in hand for the new government is to find lasting solutions for the issues troubling the aviation industry in the country. A healthy and at the same time competitive aviation industry is quite critical and integral to the growth of travel and tourism industry!

PKrishna Kumar
Bureau Chief
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