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Monday, 08 March, 2021, 14 : 30 PM [IST]

New version of Swadesh Darshan Scheme soon: Tourism Secretary

The industry is gradually witnessing revival on the domestic tourism front and hopefully, the calendar year will be much better when compared with 2020, said Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while speaking at the inaugural session of Travel India 2021 organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce in association with Ministry of Tourism. "Tourism sector is a big foreign exchange earner for India and projected to grow annually 6.9 per cent. The sector is likely to contribute USD 460 billion by 2028 which is 9 per cent of the GDP," said Singh.

Dwelling on initiatives the government has taken during pandemic for the sector, he said, "We have taken several initiatives like Incredible India Tourist Facilitators Programme, Dekho Apna Desh Programme to create awareness about Culture & Heritage and encourage domestic tourism." 

He also said that the Incredible India Tourism website was launched in Arabic, Spanish and Chinese languages. "This was done to attract tourists from these countries as and when international travel opens up," he pointed out. On Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Singh said, "We are in the process of recasting Swadesh Darshan Scheme and may be coming out with a new version soon." He also sought suggestion from stakeholders in this regard.

Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, said that they are working on three aspects-policy intervention, infrastructure, up-gradation and marketing strategy. "We have learnt to adapt new environment and works towards achieving the goal," she said. Since the focus is on domestic tourism, Maharashtra, besides being targeting on famous destinations, also promoting off beat destinations, she said. "We have also cleared Caravan Policy which will boost tourism further in the state," Valsa opined.

Rupinder Brar, ADG, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, appealed to the industry to do things differently. "We have diverse products and have to leverage them through the use of technology," Brar exhorted.

 
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