The three days National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh concluded yesterday in the presence of Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy. Tourism Ministers of 12 States including Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Haryana, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh attended the conference.
During concluding remarks, Reddy thanked all the State delegates and sector representatives for their valuable suggestions. Shri Reddy urged that all states share and adopt best practices to boost the tourism sector. States must organise such conferences at state level with district officers of different departments and stake holders to improve and promote tourism destinations. Shri Reddy emphasised on the importance of Yuva Tourism Clubs and said these clubs can became game changer for the sector.
Reddy also informed that National Flag will be installed at tourist places. He also appealed to the states and stakeholders to install flag at all hotels and tourist places. The Union Minister said that such conferences will be organised from time to time to provide an opportunity to learn from one another and hoped that this will yield desired results very soon.
Talking about the outcome of the conference, Secretary Tourism Arvind Singh said India will play a pivotal role in contributing towards global tourism recovery driven mainly through domestic tourism. All the major tourism indices have started showing signs of recovery towards the pre pandemic levels such as domestic air passenger traffic, hotel occupancy and tourist footfalls. The National Tourism Policy has been drafted with a holistic vision and strategy to revive India’s Tourism and targets to achieve USD 1 Trillion by the sector in 2047. Against this backdrop, the Ministry is also paving the way for developing responsible and sustainable tourism destinations. The Government of India will continue to support MSMEs in tourism and capitalise on the employment generation potential in the sector. Various initiatives under the ongoing schemes of the Ministry of Tourism are planned to be strengthened to ensure complete recovery from the disruption caused to the tourism economy due to the pandemic.
Singh further said that India plans to position itself as a major tourism destination during its presidency of G20 for 2023. We plan to ensure due rigour, dedication and showcase our cultural richness while welcoming the world to our nation. We plan to bring in necessary interventions including Visa Reforms, Ease of Travel, traveller friendly Immigration Facilities at Airports and openness to international travel and these major topics were deliberated during the two-day meet.
Informing about the goals for the India Tourism Sector for 2024 he said that we will strive to recover to pre-pandemic level by mid-2024. The country is estimated to achieve 50 Bn USD GDP contribution from Tourism, 30 Bn USD in Foreign Exchange Earnings and 15 Mn foreign arrivals by 2024.
He further said that India is estimated to grow at 7-9% CAGR in the coming decade and 250 Bn USD GDP contribution from Tourism, 137 Mn jobs in the Tourism sector, 56 Bn USD in Foreign Exchange Earnings and 25 Million foreign arrivals are expected to be achieved by 2030. We commit to deliver plans aligned with these goals and commitments to ensure positioning of India as one of the leaders in the tourism sector by 2047.
On the last day of conference sessions on Role of digital technology for the marketing and promotion of tourism destinations, Emerging importance of homestays in the Indian hospitality sector, Ayurveda, Wellness, and Medical Value travel, and lastly on Forest and wildlife tourism were organized. Secretary Electronics and Information Technology, GoI Alkesh Sharma, Secretary Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, GoI Rajesh Aggarwal, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, Member NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Additional Secretary Health & Family Welfare Lav Agarwal, Secretary Tourism Arvind Singh, DG Tourism G. Kamala Vardhana Rao and other senior officers of the Ministries also graced the event.