New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Om Birla, delivered keynote Address at the programme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth” organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, today, to mark the World Tourism Day, 2021. Union Minister of Tourism, Culture & DoNER Shri G. Kishan Reddy and MoS for Tourism Shri Shripad Yesso Naik also graced the occasion while a video message of Secretary General, WTO, Shri Zurab Pololikashvili was also played. Secretary Tourism Shri Arvind Singh; DG Tourism, Shir Kamala Vardhana Rao; Head UNEP, ShAtulBagai; senior officers of the Tourism Ministry and representatives of travel and hospitality industry addressed on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Birla said that post-Covid, the tourism sector is reviving in India at a faster pace. He further said that committed and collective efforts will ensure that India will emerge as the best tourist destination in the world. “The way we collectively defeated Covid-19, our collective force and coordinated efforts will take our economy to a new height”, said Shri Birla. Tourism is one of the growth engines of economy and employment. Therefore, special focus is needed for further development of this sector, he added.
On the vast tourism potential in India, Shri Birla said that our rich cultural heritage and diverse geography attract tourists from all over the world. There is tremendous potential in India in the fields of environment, spiritual, education and medical tourism. India’s domestic and foreign policy have provided an enabling environment for promotion of tourism. Our goal must be to make India the number one tourist destination. In this regard, more and more efforts should be made to develop tourist friendly destinations, the Speaker observed. Shri Birla emphasized on use of information technology tools in promoting tourism both at the domestic and international levels.
Speaking on the roadmap for boosting tourism, Shri Birla suggested that ambitious and sustained efforts are needed to promote rural tourism. This will strengthen rural economy by creating demands for handicrafts and other rural products. Similarly, tourist destinations which are still secrets should be brought on the tourism map of India so that more and more people know about these destinations, he suggested.
On this occasion, Shri Birla launched NIDHI 2.0 (National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry) and released “India Tourism Statistics: At a Glance, 2021. NIDHI 2.0 data base which was released today will be a milestone in this endeavour, hoped Shri Birla.The Ministry of Tourism, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) have signed an MoU to actively promote and support ‘sustainability initiatives’ in the tourism sector, which was also exchanged at the event.
The Union Tourism Minister, Shri G Kishan Reddy while addressing the gathering said,“The tourism sector is one of those few sectors which have suffered a lot due to this pandemic and the early resumption of tourism is very important for the recovery and growth of this sector”. He added, “As on date, India has already administered over 85 crores vaccination doses to its citizens. With the ongoing aggressive vaccination strategy, we are now a step closer to the reopening of the country to tourism in the beginning of the new year. I am grateful to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his relentless focus on vaccination”. he added