Union Minister of Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy said that for any global tourist, India is not just a place to see and visit, but a destination to experience and be transformed for life. If India needs to achieve its immediate goals of a 5 trillion economy and its long term goals of a developed nation then Tourism has a very important role to play, he added.
He was speaking on the second day of the three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. He said that with the pandemic behind us, the tourism industry is all set for a revival. As a travel destination, India offers a diversity of products and experiences. The rich heritage of India, one of the world’s oldest civilizations, is an all-embracing confluence of festivals, religions, traditions, and customs, he added.
The Minister further added that the support of local people and communities must be enlisted so that benefits of Tourism percolate down to the grassroots. Whole of government approach and Jan bhagidari can revolutionise Tourism sector in the country, he said.
Reddy appealed that just like NSS, NCC we need to work on making Yuva Tourism clubs at all levels. States need to work on a war footing for establishing these tourism clubs which will familiarize the youth with the concept of Dekho Apna Desh.
Reddy also emphasised that to achieve true potential of tourism, the most fundamental requirement is to ensure coordination at every level. We need a proactive approach, from every stakeholder, be it centre, states or the industry.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “It is a very important day for us today as representatives from all over India are here with us. I am delighted that Himachal Pradesh got this opportunity to host all of you. This is an excellent initiative by Ministry of Tourism. Himachal Pradesh presents lots of unique destinations to the world. “
Shripad Naik, Minister of State for Tourism & Ports, Shipping and Waterways spoke of the successful implementation of the PRASHAD and SWADESH DARSHAN schemes of Ministry OF Tourism while also highlighting other major initiatives and efforts of the government to promote tourism.
“The Ministry of Tourism has prepared a draft National Tourism Policy to promote India as a tourist destination in all spheres where it enjoys a comparative advantage,” he added.
Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Tourism and Defence, suggested that it is the need of the hour to bring out our hidden cultural and natural facets to attract more tourists. Tourism Ministers of 12 States including Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Haryana, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh were present.