The ‘Tourism Fortnight’ at EXPO2020 Dubai concluded yesterday with the sector highlighting India’s core strengths across different areas of tourism including medical, luxury, adventure, sustainability and MICE.
Inaugurated on 3rd January by Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the inaugural session highlighted the new policy framework by the Ministry of Tourism and unveiled five missions that will boost growth in the sector. The Tourism Sector Floor at the India Pavilion showcased the various facets highlighting India as a tourism destination and the growth potential across different kinds of tourism.
The five missions included were National Green Tourism Mission, to mainstream sustainability in the tourism sector; National Digital Tourism Mission, to digitalize the sector; Sectoral Mission on skill development, to ensure that the country has the best trained and qualified manpower to maintain high standards of service; National Mission on Destination Management, to focus on ensuring synergy and coordination amongst public and private stakeholders and National Mission on Tourism MSMEs to support and facilitate the start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises.
The inaugural session was also attended by Hoor Al Khaja, Associate Vice President, International Operations – Department of Economy and Tourism of Dubai, where she talked about India’s importance as a global tourist destination.
The Tourism Fortnight comprised of various sessions which were presided over by representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and various Indian states including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir among others.
The session on medical tourism was crucial in highlighting India’s strengths and the ability of the country to offer both modern and traditional systems of medicines, thereby, providing a holistic healing destination across the world.
The session on luxury tourism focused on showcasing the changing face of luxury tourism in India, luxury tourist destinations across the country and initiatives taken by the Government to make travel safe and secure.
The session on spiritual tourism highlighted the opportunities and potential for India to become a hub for spiritual and religious tourism, as the country offers vast cultural and religious diversity.
The session on MICE tourism was also pivotal in showcasing India’s impressive combination of accommodation and conference support facilities that make the country a successful MICE destination globally.
As a part of World Majlis event, Off the Beaten Path - Travel in the 21st Century, held on 13th January 2022, Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India talked about the ways in which the tourism sector in India is evolving.
Given the growing importance of sustainable tourism, the session on sustainable tourism was crucial to address key challenges for the tourism sector and the ways in which the future of tourism can be shaped by sustainable and responsible policies and action by the governments and private sector.
The sessions held during the ‘Tourism Fortnight’ were crucial in showcasing India’s geographical diversity, potential as a tourist destination and highlighting India’s roadmap for the sector.
The Tourism Fortnight also saw virtual participation from dignitaries such as G Kamala Vardhana Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism (Government of India); Rupinder Brar, Additional DG, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India; Shilpa Gupta, Addl. Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board; Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha; Prof Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS); Dr Sangita Reddy, Past President FICCI and Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals; Rajeev Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel; Rajiv Aggarwal, Director & Head of Public Policy, Meta – India to name a few.