Tourism emerged as one of the fundamental pillars for economic development and employment generation: G. Kishan Reddy
COVID19 has given us an opportunity to rethink & reinvest to be future-ready in a more resilient way said G.Kishan Reddy, Union Cabinet Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) while speaking at the second edition of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality e-Conclave organised by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). He also said that tourism is not just seeing a destination. “It has emerged as one of the fundamental pillars of economic development and employment generation,” said Reddy. Talking on employment, he said that in 2019 the sector provided 40 million jobs which is 12% of the total employment in that year.
“We are encouraging investment in the tourism sector as well as, promoting campaigns such as Incredible India 2.0. Investments through schemes such as PRASAD and SWADESH DARSHAN are also being promoted. We have a powerful mix of cultural and natural wealth to offer to the world like no other nation,” Reddy added.
Speaking on government initiatives, the minister said the ministry has already come up with Draft National Strategy to provide fillip to the MICE tourism sector. “I appeal to all the stakeholders to come forward and give your inputs so that we could bring a paradigm shift to the sector,” Reddy said. He further added, “To achieve the full potential of the tourism sector it is imperative to have better coordination at every level. The tourism sector has immense potential to bring in a huge change in the socio-economic scenario of the country.”
He also reminded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call on the 73rd Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort to visit 15 domestic destinations by 2022, is very relevant in today’s context “This will lead to develop and revive tourism across the nation,” he pointed out.
Reddy feels that India should have a national tourism policy. “We are also thinking that there should be a tourism policy in India.The tourism sector is not in the state or central government list. We are also considering whether or not it should be in the concurrent list. Every stakeholder should participate in preparing the national tourism policy which will be helpful particularly for the stakeholders,” he pointed out. “Through this policy, we can get proper responses, investments, and support from village gram panchayats and town municipalities,” he said.
Assuring the industry players, he said that all possible help will be extended from the ministry to come out of the current situation. “I will coordinate with every sector of tourism to get rid of the present situation,” said Reddy emphatically.
Arvind Singh, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, in his address said that the tourism industry plays an important role in our economy particularly in creating jobs. “The pandemic has created a huge setback for the industry and our biggest challenge is to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector. It requires strong collaboration and engagement with the industry as well as with the state governments,” Singh pointed out. He also said that the government has taken a series of steps like fiscal & regulatory relief measures, confidence building, digitalisation etc. “We are also working with states for uniform policy for domestic travel,” he said.