Ministry of Tourism is organising a conference of Tourism and Culture Ministers of the Southern Region on 28th and 29th October 2021 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Hon’ble Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER Shri G. Kishan Reddy and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri Basavaraj Bommai have kindly consented to address the event on 28th October 2021. The event is expected to be attended by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism, Govt. of India, Senior Officials from various Central Ministries, State Governments, Union Territory Administrations (UTs), Media and industry stakeholders.
The States and Union Territories of the Southern Region are endowed with diverse tourist attractions and each State/UT has its own distinct features. The Ministry of Tourism is continuously working on different verticals like infrastructure development, promotion and publicity, skill development, etc. to facilitate the development of overall tourism in the region.
The two days programme will have presentations by various Ministries including M/o Tourism, M/o Shipping, M/o Railways and M/o Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Archaeological Survey of India, NeGD, Niti Aayog to apprise the participants about the various projects and initiatives being taken by the Central Government for the development of the region.
Ministry of Tourism promotes India as a holistic destination including southern region States & UTs on various platforms in Digital, Print and Social Media. Since April 2020, under the Dekho Apna Desh campaign, the Ministry of Tourism is conducting webinars on various tourism products including dedicated webinars on States & UTs of the Southern Region. The connectivity by air, rail and road to various destinations in the region is excellent and sought-after destinations by many.
The two days conference will have sessions wherein the State Governments & UTs from the region will also be making presentations on the status of the tourism sector in their states and latest initiatives being taken by them for the development of tourism. During the sessions, discussion on Heritage & Cultural Tourism initiatives, Rail Tourism, Skill development, the potentiality of Cruise Tourism in the Southern Region, etc. will be held.
The Ministry of Tourism has concentrated on the issues of Skill development in tourism sector, creating a pool of well-trained and professional Tourist Facilitators is essential for providing world class services to the tourists, promotion and marketing for creating awareness about the destination in the domestic and international markets.
As domestic tourism is showing a great surge in the last few months and as the borders will be open for international tourists soon, building the confidence and trust of the tourists is extremely important. In this connection, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Tourism have already notified COVID-19 Safety and hygiene protocols. The Ministry has put in place a System for Assessment, Awareness and Training in Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) to ensure compliance with COVID 19 Safety and Hygiene guidelines and to ensure safety and health of employees/customers. SAATHI initiative aims to assist in the preparedness of Hotels to continue operations safely and also restore the confidence of guests and enhance the image of the hotel as a responsible hotel. As on date, more than 10,000 accommodation units have registered under SAATHI. The hotel units from States and UTs of Southern region has shown a good response in registering their units on the portal to follow the necessary protocols.
Ministry of Tourism undertakes development of infrastructure at tourist destinations across the country under its infrastructure development schemes viz. Swadesh Darshan (SD) and PRASHAD (National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive). In Swadesh Darshan Scheme 76 projects have been sanctioned across India which also includes projects from the Southern Region States and UTs. Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme projects have been sanctioned in different themes such as Coastal Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Eco Circuit, Spiritual Circuit etc. Under PRASHAD Scheme, 37 projects have been sanctioned in India which also includes projects from the Southern States.
These efforts are expected to culminate in a major fillip to the tourism sector in the region.