In a recent initiative called ‘Champions of Change’, organised by the NITI Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the young CEOs of the nation. The event witnessed over 200 young CEOs and corporate leaders which was held at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi and pitched for a need for all citizens to feel a sense of belonging towards the nation. Tourism was one of the segments on which Prime Minister Modi stressed. He expressed that a change in attitude is required to change the Tourism scenario in the nation.
Speaking about the sector PM Modi said, “How can we change the tourism sector? I have seen that most of your presentations contained this topic on tourism. What is the biggest challenge to the tourism sector? The question is a bit shocking to me. Last year in my programme ‘Mann ki Baat’, I asked the children going on vacations to upload photos of the places they were visiting with this Hash tag. I was surprised to see millions of photographs on my website. There are so many places in our country which people are getting aware of because of the Hash tag. What is the psyche of the people? Whenever they go to a good place, the first sentence that comes to their minds is that – this place doesn’t seem like India! Now tell me how the tourism will grow? If you do not love your children, then how can you expect the neighbours to love them? Similarly, if we do not take pride in the things we have then what do you expect the others to do?”
Each year India receives a sizeable number of business travellers, PM feels that if we convince these travellers to extend their stay for leisure travel the numbers will automatically go up. Also a lot of incentive travel for the Indian companies happen outbound, if these travellers are diverted domestically, tourism sector will further get a boost.
He further said, “Businessmen come to our country; you might be dealing with the Global Community. How many of you have asked them to stay for three more days to savour the beauty of our country? Tourism cannot grow just with the advertisement by the Government. The pharmaceutical companies here offer special tours to Doctors. These companies take them to Singapore or Dubai and other places abroad. They never feel that tours can be made to say a place called Hampi in our country in Karnataka or to Rajasthan. We do not promote our things. Unless we realise that instead of providing artificial enjoyment we should present before the world our heritage.”
One of the initiatives which PM Modi had started while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat was to develop the Rann of Kutch. Today, this barren white desert has become one of the biggest attractions in the country. Last year the Rann Utsav was visited by over 300,000 travellers from across the globe.
PM Modi said, “About 40-45 years ago, when I saw the White Rann of Kutch, it had a great impact on my mind. When I became Chief Minister, I decided that I would make this desert a Tourist Destination. I urge you to visit the Rannotsav website sometime. This festival starts after Diwali and continues for three months. A tent city is formed. There is so much rush in this season to visit the White Desert and these days there is a lot of trouble in bookings. Many people plan the board meetings of the company to coincide with Rannotsav. As a result the handicraft of Kutch, and a lot of things found a huge market.”
He further said that the government is taking steps to develop tourism, but we all should develop a temperament for the growth of tourism sector. We should insist upon promoting it. Tourism has a great potential in job creation. But if we add to these things, our contribution will definitely bring results.