The first of the four tourism working group meetings is slotted for early next month at Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, the next meeting will be held between April 3 and 5 in Siliguri/Darjeeling and the fourth ministerial meeting will be held in Goa from June 19-22, sources have confirmed, reports The Indian Express. For the third meeting, which will be held between May 22 and 24, a couple of hilly locations in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir have been shortlisted, but the final decision will be taken closer to the date.
“The idea is to cover and showcase the geographical expanse of the country – with Gujarat in the west to Siliguri in the north-east, going up till the northernmost regions,” said an official source.
The agenda for the G20 tourism track, as per documents seen by The Indian Express, focuses on five priority areas — “green tourism” – for a sustainable, responsible and resilient tourism sector; “digitalisation” – harnessing technology to promote competitiveness, inclusion and sustainability; “skill training” to youth for employment and entrepreneurship; “nurturing tourism-related MSMEs and start-ups” and “destination management” – strategic management of destinations with a holistic approach.
Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh said the G20 tourism working group will look at the current status of the tourism sector from the lens of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and leveraging the experience of the G20 member countries, UNWTO (United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation) and other related organisations will propose “a roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving SDGs”.
At the conclusion of the ministerial meeting in Goa, an official “Goa Roadmap” will be issued, Singh said, comprising a shared vision for the G20 tourism working group. It will aim to provide “guidance on policies, strategies and practices in the five key areas”. A ministerial communique will also be issued after the Goa meet, Singh said.
Presently, all the locations for tourism track meetings are being spruced up, and the officials from the G20 secretariat as well as the Ministry of Tourism have already conducted recces. “The states are taking the lead in giving a new look to the respective cities,” officials said, adding that roads, hotels, meeting venues and excursion spots are being taken care of.
For the first meeting at Rann of Kutch from February 7 to 9, as many as 31 official delegates, including the G20 member nations and guest countries, have confirmed their presence, sources said. Delegates also include those representing international organisations such as UNWTO and International Labour Organization.