Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer NITI Aayog put forth the vision of a 50 billion dollar tourism sector by 2022. The government has provided not only significant GST relaxation to the different segments of this sector but has also brought about positive changes in visa validity and has added many visa categories such as for double, multiple entries and e-conference visas.
He mentioned that the country needs to identify the strengths of different states related to tourism to accelerate growth. He further emphasized on the fact that we should move towards providing quality tourism by providing not only world class products but also world class experience. Sustainable management practices should be adopted for heritage sites to provide world class experience to tourists. He urged the private sector to work with the Ministry of Tourism to make India one of the 100 tourist destinations in the world.
Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary – Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India mentioned that in the last five years implementation of tourism focused activities such as PRASAD and SWADESH DARSHAN SCHEME and shifting of promotional activities to digital platform has improved international connectivity. Government has also been implementing tourism-friendly interventions such as towards reducing GST and rationalization of visa fees. Other operational initiatives undertaken include launching of the Incredible India Plan that started in 2018. We have also brought about a change in our training programs destination based therefore resulting in realistic demand.
Dipak Haksar Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Hospitality & Chief Executive ITC Hotels and WelcomHotels said "CII in the last few years has worked very closely with the government towards many policy enablers for the tourism sector such as rationalization of GST, relaxation of destination specific regulations thereby encouraging eco-tourism and adventure tourism”.
Meenakshi Sharma, Director General, Ministry of Tourism mentioned that Skill development is also a key area for harnessing talent for this employment generating sector. Infrastructure such as airport, hotels and highways should also be strengthened".
Darpan Jain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry said that to enhance competitiveness of Indian Tourism sector, India needs to improve its tourist services infrastructure and connectivity.
Mridula Tangrila, Head Tata Trusts urged to Institutionalize the activities under Eco-Tourism and formulate a division board under Ministry of Environment & Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
Arjun Sharma, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Hospitality & Chairman Select Group emphasized on the need of PPP model for the Tourism sector.