Union Minister for Tourism, Culture &DoNER, G.Kishan Reddy handed over cheques/ sanction letters to the first lot of stakeholders who have been granted the loan/ in-principle approval under the LGSCATSS at an event yesterday in New Delhi. Secretary Tourism Arvind Singh, DG Tourism G Kamala Vardhana Rao, ADG Tourism Rupinder Brar and senior officers from the Ministry of Tourism and the participating banks were also present in the event.
Later, Reddy addressed the gathering and acknowledged the efforts of stakeholders of the travel trade sector, senior officers from the Ministry and the Banks and granted the loan / in-principle approval for loan under the Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected Tourism Sector Services (LGSCATSS). The Minister acknowledged that the tourism sector was one of the most affected service sectors and those dependent on the tourism sector faced a significant depletion in incomes.
LGSCATSS provides support to approved Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Tourist Transport Operators, Regional level Tourist and local guides by the State governments and Union Territories in the form of credit under the Credit Guarantee Scheme at concessional rates. The purpose of extending financial support/relief to the tourism stakeholders and service providers was to mitigate their hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to help them revive their business and livelihood.
Reddy said : “Currently there is a discussion on the impact of the third wave, but I believe that strict adherence to COVID protocol will help overcome the situation. I urge the citizens of the country to strictly follow the Covid protocol to stay safe and healthy”.
The Minister also encouraged families to visit at least two tourism destinations each year and this will help future generations to know about our rich heritage. Various circuits are being developed and connected to make it accessible for tourists. The Minister also stated that the Ministry of Railways is running specialised trains by leveraging skilled professionals to connect the Buddhist destinations and Ramayan circuit.
The Minister also stated that the Ministry is working with other Ministries to collaborate on various tourist themes such as Wildlife Tourism, cruise and aqua tourism, eco and rural tourism projects. “In a short span with the coordination of various departments and ministries we are working towards the development of the sector”, the Minister added. The Minister also stated that the Northeast region is unexplored and has a great potential for tourism, tourists from the various parts of the country and world should explore the beautiful destinations.
The operators in the tourism sector and also prospective investors can have confidence in the country’s potential growth of the sector, he added.