PM Modi shared a plan in a post-budget webinar on Friday, saying we must think out of the box to develop the tourism sector, and long-term planning is important. He discussed the way which would help States to set a future roadmap for tourism based on three things, which include the potential of a tourist destination, Infrastructure, and Promotion of tourist places.
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While discussing the potential of the tourism sector in India, the PM said that it has got huge potential, which benefits both tourist destinations and the surrounding areas, and shared the name of the important tourist sectors in India, which include eco-tourism beach tourism, Himalayan tourism, adventure tourism, wildlife life tourism etc.
Development of all areas:
The PM emphasized inclusive development of all areas, and that the govt has selected various regions of the country for tourism development, and that holistic development is needed.
He asserted that tourism seems a fancy term meant only for rich people, but India has a long unique tradition of tourism, wherein every section of the society whether poor or rich visits tourist places in any condition whether supporting or worse and that connected India and served as a reason for the integrity of the country.
He said the economy of the tourist destination is all dependent on tourism, and that both the state and central govt must enhance infrastructure and facilities to grab the attention of millions of tourists.
He also discussed tourism before and after independence saying, both the British and the Congress did not take concrete steps in developing tourism, but now India is progressing towards a new era, where there is a new work culture, and the central govt is trying hard to boost the tourism sector.
He shared various examples in which it is evident that tourism has developed in the last few years. He said before the development of the Kashi Vishwanath dhan temple in Varanasi, only 70 to 80 lakh people visited it yearly, but now the number has surged up to 7 crores per year, and only 4-5 lakh people visited Kedarnath before its renovation, but now it is 15 lakhs per year.
Modi’s plan for the development of tourism:
He emphasised digital connectivity, the building of new hotels, and cleanliness as the drivers for tourism growth.
He focused on the need to increase skill development, and that every state must set up its revenue model for each tourist destination. He highlighted the progress of tourism in India as according to him villages are also now becoming hotspots of tourism, which was possible only because of the development process that has taken place in India.
The Pm informed in the webinar that the Vibrant tourism border village scheme is being run in the border areas of the country which has helped to grow infrastructure and small businesses there and strengthen the economy.
Tourism has taken a jump as the Number of tourists visiting India has increased from 2 lakhs in January 2022 to 8 lakhs in January 2023.
He also discussed who should be our target group as to him they are foreign tourists, who have huge incomes, and even though they stay for fewer days, they spend a lot of money. A foreign tourist spends about 1700 dollars in India, 2500 dollars in the USA and 5000 dollars in Australia. The Pm said the tourism policy of every state should be changed and the tourist destinations should be made in such a way that they attract tourists to stay for long.
He asserted that there is a paucity of tourist guides in the country, but now skill education is being provided to the Youth, which has produced a lot of good English-speaking professional tourist guides which in turn has increased employment.
He directed the states to give focus on newer means of tourism which include Weddings, Conferences, and sports tourism and gave the example of Qatar which has seen tremendous growth in its economy this year because of the sports tourism.
He assured that new and innovative ways would be used to develop tourism through a public-private partnership model.
He assured the state govts that initially tourists number would be small, but with constant efforts to enhance infrastructure, it would increase.
He informed the stakeholders that the central govt has planned to make 50 tourist destinations unique and the most attractive which would compel tourists to not leave them.
He finally emphasized the need to develop Apps, in which every Indian Language and all languages listed in the UNO, and signboards must be in every language at each place which would positively help in the growth of the tourism sector.