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Govt to launch Swadesh Darshan 2 with chosen destinations from 15 States

According to a report in The Hindu, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, and Gwalior are among the cities identified in 15 States across the country to be promoted as part of India’s new domestic tourism policy which moves away from theme-based tourist circuits and focuses on revving up destination tourism.

The initiative is being taken as part of the first phase of the ‘Swadesh Darshan 2’ which will be kicked off from January.

Fifteen States are part of the first phase which include Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Two destinations from each State have been identified, sources in the Ministry of Tourism said.

Some of the prominent places identified are Jhansi and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, Gwalior, Chitrakoot and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Ajanta and Ellora in Maharashtra.

The sources said that the destinations had been zeroed in on after consultations with the State Tourism Departments, and the Centre was now waiting for approval from Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy. The Swadesh Darshan scheme is 100% centrally funded.

The government recently revamped the scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) to develop sustainable and responsible destinations with tourist and destination centric approach.

The scheme has been revamped with the mantra of “vocal for local”, a top official of the Tourism Ministry said adding that the scheme was essentially aimed at targeting domestic tourists.

According to the Ministry, domestic tourist visits in 2021 were around 677 million and in 2022 (data available till date) is 572 million.

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