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G20 Presidency to Put India on World Tourism Map: Tourism Secretary

India’s G20 Presidency, under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, coinciding with celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – Amrit Kaal, is likely to boost India’s tourism sector in a big way said Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

Delivering his key note speech on the inauguration session of 12th edition of the ‘Great Indian Travel Bazaar’ (GITB) being organised by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India along with FICCI and Tourism Department of Rajasthan, Singh said, “India’s G20 Presidency has offered unparalleled opportunities to tourism sector. We are already in the middle of G20 Presidency and next meeting in Kashmir – India’s crown jewel is likely to bring huge tourism inflow in India, thus helping India gain credence on the world tourism map.”

“As a part of India’s G20 Presidency, India will receive more than One Lakh foreign delegates this year and they will be able to witness the variety richness and diversity of our culture including monuments and festivals. We have also been making concerted efforts to promote inbound tourism recognising its potential as a key driver of economic growth and employment generation and we are in the process of taking further steps to increase the inflow of tourists into the country. GITB – conceived, launched and nurtured by the trio of Chief Secretary of Rajasthan Government Smt. Usha Sharma, Past President of FICCI Dr. Jyotsna Suri and former Tourism Secretary of Rajasthan Smt. Mira Mehrishi is one of such platforms that add strength to our efforts,” said Singh.

Stressing upon the potential of tourism for job creation, Usha Sharma, Chief Secretary, Rajasthan said that Tourism sector generates a large number of jobs and create ample employment opportunities which played a major role in assigning Industry status to the sector.
Speaking during inaugural session, Sharma said, “Some people think that tourism is a glamorous sector, whereas the truth is that the sector provides huge job opportunities. And, we endeavor to fully utilised its potential. For this purpose, Rajasthan government has accorded industry status to the tourism in the state. The move will help us attract much more investment.”

Recounting her experience of conceptualising GITB way back in 2007, Sharma said, “We felt the need to make B2B a very much intrinsic part of this platform where there are absolutely gainful tangible outcomes.”

Describing GITB as a “Perfect example of Public Private Partnership”, Gayatri Rathore, Principal Secretary – Tourism, Art & Culture, Government of Rajasthan said that GITB aims to boost inbound tourism in India while providing a strong platform to tourism stakeholders for exchange of ideas and networking to understand the market expectations.

“Rajasthan government has taken plethora of revolutionary initiatives to boost tourism in the state – from full industry status to launching of Rural Tourism Policy and Film Promotion Policy – with budgetary support. These steps are bound to not only provide boost to tourism but also will create a large number of job opportunities.”

Delivering his address at GITB inaugural session, Dharmendra Singh Rathore, Chairman, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, said, “During Covid, our Bhilwara model saved the life of people, in the same way, our Hon’ble CM has provided a booster dose to tourism sector by giving it an industry status. With hospitality as our core and easy policy to back us, hotels are opening in rural areas, which are providing impetus to job creation in villages of Rajasthan.”

Appreciating the support of both Union Ministry of Tourism and Rajasthan Govt’s Tourism Department in his Welcome speech Dipak Deva, Chairperson, Tourism & Culture Committee of FICCI said, “We are reminded of tourism’s enormous potential to drive economic growth and foster sustainable development in India and beyond promoting responsible and inclusive tourism that respects local communities their cultures and the natural environment is imperative. GITB provides a unique platform for tourism stakeholders to connect, collaborate and create new opportunities for growth and development.”

Stressing that it was not two but three creators of GITB, Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI & CMD of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said, “We three – Smt. Usha Sharma, Smt. Mira Mehrishi and myself conceived and launched GITB. Today it has become a hugely respected event for inbound tourism. Members of the tourism industry along with several states will be showcasing their wide spectrum of numerous versatile and unique products.”
Drawing a comparative picture, Shailesh Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI said, “Green tourism will hugely increase incomes of villages around tourist destinations across India. For every INR 10 lakh investment in manufacturing, 45 jobs are created, compared to 78 jobs in the tourism sector.”

Randhir Vikram Singh, President, Indian Heritage Hotel Association & CMD, Hotel Castle Mandawa delivered the Vote of Thanks.
On the occasion, a Knowledge Paper prepared by FICCI and Nangia Anderson titled ‘Inbound Tourism in India – Unlocking the Potential’ was also released.

The report highlights the present scenario of inbound tourism in India, the initiatives being undertaken by the Central & various State Governments to boost the sector, various niche tourism products introduced by Government of India, India’s G20 Tourism priorities and Vision 2047 with respect to tourism sector.

During the inaugural of GITB, several dignitaries, including Ambassador of Republic of South Korea to India His Excellency Mr. Chang Jae-bok, government officials from Union Tourism Ministry and Government of Rajasthan, besides industry leaders from Hotel & Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR), Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO) were also present.

The GITB, one of the biggest events of inbound tourism in India, is being organized simultaneously with the G20 Tourism Expo.

Being held after a gap of three years, GITB will witness over 11,000 B2B meetings of 283 tour operators from 56 countries, including 150+ from G20 countries, with the representatives of Tourism Boards from 10 states namely – Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, apart from Rajasthan along with more than 290 Indian Exhibitors.

The premier tourism event is supported by leading national and regional associations- Hotel & Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR), Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO).

The first edition of the GITB was held in 2008 and since then has grown from strength to strength and is considered a force to reckon with for promotion of inbound tourism.

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