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Friday, 31 July, 2020, 18 : 30 PM [IST]
‘Infusing confidence among tourists is key to revive the tourism sector’

 
The FICCI Tourism E-Conclave yesterday concluded on a high note when six Tourism Ministers from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka and Odisha came together on a single platform and graced the valedictory session along with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. 
 
Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, GoI, said, “Infusing confidence among tourists is crucial for the revival of the tourism sector with additional measures for training on safety and hygiene, which may be provided through web-based platforms before international travel picks up.”
 
Addressing the webinar ‘Tourism E-Conclave: Travel & Hospitality: What’s Next?’, organised by FICCI, Brar said, “Safety and hygiene will be the priorities for tourists as people will travel to destinations only if they are assured that the place they are visiting, eating and staying is safe.” 
 
She added, “Efforts will be made to promote domestic tourism through the campaign – ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ and we are trying to engage with our stakeholders and citizens to sustain their interest in traveling and encourage them to visit the unexplored destinations in India, once travel restrictions are lifted.”
 
Usha Thakur, Minister Tourism, Culture & Adhyatm, Government of Madhya Pradesh, said, “Madhya Pradesh is tapping on the development of rural tourism which will showcase rural life, art, culture, and heritage, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially.” She added that the focus is on identifying and promoting Spiritual Tourism in Madhya Pradesh.
 
Vasanbhai Ahir, Tourism Minister of State, Government of Gujarat, said, “Gujarat is a tourist-friendly state, and there are several iconic places to visit in Gujarat, all of which are steeped in a certain charm and history.” He further said that it is important to work with the center to promote tourism in the state.
 
Tamradhwaj Sahu, Minister of Public Works, Department Home, Jail, Dharmik Nyas and Dharmasv, Tourism, Government of Chhattisgarh said, “The best way to overcome the setbacks in the tourism industry which has been suffered due to the COVID-19 is to promote local tourism so that local tourists are attracted.” We will focus on developing water sports at all the prominent dams and water bodies of the state to attract tourism in Chhattisgarh, he said. 
 
Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister, Government of Kerala, said, “The state government is working to revive the tourism sector and has identified Ayurveda, as focus area.” He added that the health of the tourist is our priority and we will be focusing on promoting Kerala as a safe and hygienic destination for prospective travellers.
 
CT Ravi, Minister of Tourism, Kannada and Culture, Youth Empowerment & Sports, Government of Karnataka, said, “The tourism sector is an important economic driver for Karnataka and the sector will emerge from this crisis stronger, resilient, and better.” Speaking on the revival of tourism in Karnataka, the Minister said, “The government of Karnataka has launched ‘Love your native’ campaign, which seeks to ensure the livelihood of those dependent solely on tourism and assure the people that with appropriate safety and hygiene in place, a slow return to normalcy is possible.”
 
Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minister of Tourism, Odia Language, Literature & Culture, Government of Odisha said, “The pandemic has hit the backbone of the tourism industry in Odisha. We are focussing on the completion of development work and product enhancement in the state.” He added that to encourage the hospitality industry, the government has decided to waive-off the fixed charges on electricity and the bar license fee for the hotels in the state. This Industry needs energy and synergy to move ahead. 
 
Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI & Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee & CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said, “Domestic tourism will take the lead in the revival of the industry in India and tourism will be the torchbearer of economic revival of India.”
 
Souvagya Mohapatra, Chairman, FICCI Eastern Region Tourism Committee & Executive Director, MayFair Hotels & Resorts, said, “Technology will play a major role in the survival and revival of the Indian travel and tourism industry as digital technologies will shape the way people travel post-COVID-19.”
 

 
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