In line with India’s G20 Presidency coinciding with the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – Amrit Kaal, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is attempting to develop India’s Tourism Sector on a mission mode under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Elaborating on the same, Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India today said that India plans to develop 50 new tourism destinations across the country and envisages making 59 new air routes operational to boost tourism in the country.
Speaking during the inaugural session of the G20 Tourism Expo organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India along with FICCI and Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, Shri Arvind Singh said, “Amidst India’s G20 Presidency, India’s Tourism sector is showing one of the strongest recoveries in the Asia Pacific region. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, India registered 6.19 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2022 registering a growth of 305 per cent as compared to 1.52 million in 2021. To promote tourism further, we plan to promote Green Tourism and open up 50 new Tourism destinations and launch publicity in overseas markets.”
The Ministry of Tourism has already organised G20- Tourism Working Group Meetings and is exploring the promotion of Green Tourism, Digitalisation, Skill development, promotion of MSMEs and Destination Management. Besides, the Government is also focusing on robust infrastructure development as a whole.
“We are taking a 360-degree view of developing the Tourism infrastructure with a focus on enhancing rail, road and Air connectivity. We have recommended 59 new routes to the Ministry of Civil Aviation under the Udaan Scheme, which is very successful and out of this 51 Tourism routes have already been operationalised,” said Shri Singh while highlighting the initiatives taken for the deepening of the tourism sector in the country.
Shri Vishwendra Singh, Minister of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan today informed that the state government plans to revive 23 old air strips spread all over Rajasthan which will give a boost to the tourism sector in the state.
Delivering his inaugural address at G20 Tourism Expo, Shri Vishwendra Singh said, “Under our newly introduced Rural Tourism policy, we are going to re-develop 23 air-strip with private sector support. This will provide a big impetus to tourism in Rajasthan, especially in rural areas and create humongous employment opportunities.”
“Rajasthan has also formed a path-breaking Rural Tourism policy which a lot states should emulate. The policy is expected to boost wildlife tourism, cultural and religious tourism across the state,” said Shri Vishwendra Singh.
Enumerating the initiatives taken by Rajasthan Government, Smt. Gayatri Rathore, Principal Secretary – Tourism, Art & Culture, Government of Rajasthan said, “Rajasthan is home to about 75 per cent of heritage hotels in India, many of which have been renovated and restored through public-private partnership and are now being used for royal-weddings and film shoots. Our department has recently formulated Rural Tourism Scheme to promote Tourism in rural Rajasthan and create employment opportunities.”
Welcoming the delegates and dignitaries Shri Dipak Deva, Chairperson, Tourism and Culture Committee of FICCI said, “The recovery of tourism worldwide has been a phenomenon and India is leading from the front. We hope to keep the momentum aiming at 11 million FTAs. India’s G20 Presidency will add strength to India’s drive”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI & CMD of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said, “India’s G20 Presidency is an incredible opportunity of not only to host meetings but also a fantastic platform to showcase India’s diverse culture, cuisine, heritage and its treasure of tourism destinations. It is also a great opportunity for the tourism industry to showcase itself.”
Shri Randhir Vikram Singh, President, Indian Heritage Hotel Association & CMD, Hotel Castle Mandawa said, “As a country, we have a rich heritage and tourism, especially in Rajasthan has a lot of heritage sites to showcase.”
Delivering Vote of Thanks, Shri Shailesh Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI said, “By 2030, as India becomes the third largest economy in the world, a prediction: tourism outflow from India is going to be 5X of today’s numbers, and the inflow of foreign tourists is going to be 10X of the current level. This will lead to green and sustainable job creation.”
During the inauguration of the G20 Tourism Expo, several dignitaries, including the Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to India His Excellency Chang Jae-Bok were present.
Attended by the stalwarts of the tourism, travel and hospitality sector of India, the event will witness some of the leading names of governance, policy-making and industry coming together on one platform to deliberate on the future of India’s travel and tourism industry.
The G20 Tourism Expo is being organised simultaneously with the 12th edition of Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB). GITB, one of the biggest events of inbound tourism in India, is co-organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India along with the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The special G20 Tourism Expo will include panel discussions, ambassadors’ roundtable, cultural eventing, game of golf and other programmes.
Being held after a gap of three years, GITB will witness over 11,000 B2B meetings of 283 tour operators from 56 countries, including 150+ from G20 countries, with the representatives of Tourism Boards from 11 states namely – Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, apart from Rajasthan along with more than 290 Indian Exhibitors.
The premier tourism event is supported by leading national and regional associations like the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR), Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) and the Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO).
The first edition of the GITB was held in 2008 and since then has grown from strength to strength and is considered a force to recon within the inbound travel mart of India.