Indian Tourism Sector should aim to reach 50 billion dollar by 2022: Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog

New Delhi: Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Mr. 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”.

Ms. 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”.

Mr. 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.

Ms. 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).

Mr. Arjun Sharma, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Hospitality & Chairman Select Group emphasized on the need of PPP model for the Tourism sector.

Tourism is a sector that cuts across multiple other sectors and is driven by the urge to get a new experience thereby becoming a very effective revenue generator. To explore the different opportunities of the Indian Tourism Sector towards the economic growth of the country, Confederation of Indian Industry held the 15th Annual Tourism Summit with the Theme Tourism: Creating Opportunities with Economic Growth on 19th December, in New Delhi.

Tourism is driven by the urge for new experiences. As one of the world’s largest industries and a major engine for economic growth and employment generation, its unparalleled ability to cut across sectors bringing in ancillary revenues in its trail through strong links to other economic sectors, further positions it as an efficient economic multiplier. China should be a strategic focus for India as it is the largest outbound market. Special products and strategies should be designed around the China market to enhance its inbound share into the country. Tourism should be given Exports Status as it is the third largest foreign exchange earner for India and Hotels should be given infrastructure Status. CII suggests that the National Tourism Policy should be announced for development of tourism which is one of the largest jobs creating sector.