After taking charge of the Ministry of Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C) said that the Ministry will work to fulfill the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘New India’ by simultaneously investing in strengthening our cultural roots and promoting the tourism sector. He added that “India is a large country and its cultural might is no less”. This vast cultural diversity of the country itself is main cause of attraction for tourists.
Further, the Minister said that the works which were done in the last five years shall be taken forward at a much greater pace and in time bound manner. “I have just taken charge and will decide on that after assessing all the status of all the tourism circuits, religious or cultural, and then frame policies. But, as a Minister I would endeavour to take forward the work done in the tourism sector by the previous Modi government at a much greater pace and try to finish projects on or before stipulated time,” he said.
Being a high employment generating sector, the proper branding/promotion of the country's culture and tourism is required and for this, the Minister sought support from all stakeholders.
The 59 year old Minister, a BJP MP from Damoh in Madhya Pradesh, said that tourism and culture can work hand in hand. He has previously been member of several Parliamentary Committees in the 16th Lok Sabha. The Minister takes interest in a wide range of social and cultural activities including preservation of Indian culture, development of rural areas, farmers’ welfare and promotion of sports. Asked about development plan for his of his plan constituency, he said that my job is to work for the whole country.
“There is a misconception about Bundelkhand region that there is a lot of poverty there and migration is happening. The region has rich cultural and linguistic heritage, from ancient statues to Nirgun folk songs to a 125-year-old music tradition known as ‘Mridangam’. There is so much to offer and my efforts will be to promote Bundelkhand region as a tourist destination,” he added.
Replying to a question over safety for tourists, he said, "It is every citizen's responsibility to help ensure safety of our guests who visit our country. But, we will create environment so that tourists feel safer and enjoy their stay in India.”