K.J. Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism recently chaired the 2nd meeting of the reconstituted National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) at ‘Statue of Unity’, Kevadia, Gujarat. Addressing the meeting, Alphons outlined the achievements of the Ministry and recent initiatives taken by the Government towards development and promotion of tourism. Mentioning the excellent performance of the country globally in recent years, he said India has climbed from 7th rank in 2017 to 3rd rank in 2018 in World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Power and Performance index which has an impact on our Civil Aviation sector.
"Employing all sections of the society, the Tourism sector alone has created nearly 14 million jobs in the country in the last four years", said Alphons. The minister expressed his hope that India will achieve a better growth with the country's incredible tourism potential and the impeccable hospitality and the fast developing infrastructure and connectivity.
Yogendra Tripathi, Union Tourism Secretary, said that Ministry acts as an enabler and shall take forward all the suggestions and recommendations. He also added that very specific tourism infrastructure development has been carried out by the Ministry through its two flagship schemes, Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD under which 77 projects amounting to Rs. 6121.69 crore and 27 projects worth Rs 832.35 crore have been sanctioned respectively.
The second session of the NTAC included the Gujarat Tourism officials wherein the focus of discussion was Tourist inflow to the Statue of Unity and how to achieve a tourist footfall of five million per year. During the session, the host State of Gujarat made a presentation explaining the proposed initiatives to be taken by it on the matter.
The NTAC acts as think tank of the Ministry of Tourism and advises the Government on various tourism related policy matters. The meeting was attended by senior officers of the Ministry of Tourism, UNWTO representative and various stakeholders of tourism, such as representatives from Central Ministries, Industry Associations of tourism, individual experts in the field of tourism, etc.