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New tourism policy to be finalised soon, will cater to post-Covid visitors: Ministry

The much-delayed national policy on tourism will soon be finalised and it will have specific norms and provisions to suit the post Covid-19 travellers, a senior official in the ministry said.

The draft National Policy on Tourism was prepared by the ministry and was under review after the pandemic eased, officials said.

“Just when we were ramping up the tourism policy, Covid-19 crisis came, bringing many challenges but it has brought opportunities also. The pandemic is an evolving subject which has changed tourist trends. We are now again deliberating on how the policy is shaped in keeping with the global standards to be followed in the Covid-era. We have to digitise more to reduce physical touch, make places accessible for all,” said Rupinder Brar, ADG Tourism, GOI.

It also talks about developing quality human resources in the tourism and hospitality sector across the spectrum of vocational to professional skills development and opportunity creation; and creating an enabling environment for investment in tourism and tourism-related infrastructure.

“A variety of different verticals have emerged such as heritage tourism, staycations and homestays. Protocols have to be put in place for all this,” said Brar.

Some of the features of the draft policy put forth last year include focus on employment generation, community participation and stress on the development of tourism in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Brar also underlined the need to focus on staycations which are becoming a way of travel in the post-covid era. Tourists are looking for open spaces and travelling in smaller groups preferably with family or close known friends as safety measure.

She also said that some states have their own policies in keeping with their strength and opportunities. (Source FE)

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