By Elton Gomes
In an attempt to boost tourism, the Centre is planning to hold at least two important meetings annually at major tourist destinations and is seeking public sector undertakings (PSUs) to do so. A total of five destinations have already been shortlisted by the department of public enterprise and the Ministry of Tourism. The move comes roughly two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested it, as reported by Deccan Herald.
In a significant boost to tourism in India, the government plans to hold meetings at Hampi in Karnataka. The other destinations where the government seeks to deliberate are Ajanta and Ellora in Aurangabad, Bodhgaya, Khajuraho, and Mahabalipuram.
In a memorandum to the head of all PSUs, the department of public enterprise said that a blueprint has been suggested by the Prime Minister, “The prime minister gave a number of action points for the central public sector enterprises, including the suggestion to hold their annual general/board meetings at new tourists destinations to boost tourism.”
An officer added that the department had urged the Ministry of Tourism to assign more tourist destinations where meetings could be held.
Steps taken to increase tourism
The move comes amidst the Modi government’s crusade to boost tourism in the country. In 2014, the contribution from tourism was almost equal to that of the IT sector. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2017, ranked India seventh in terms of its contribution from tourism and related businesses.
As per official data, the travel and tourism industry generated Rs. 14 trillion ($208 billion) in 2016. Furthermore, the tourism sector created 40 million jobs in 2016 and the sector accounts for 9.3% of all jobs in the country.
Undoubtedly tourism has helped India generate considerable amounts of revenue. The government further boosted tourism by launching the Swadesh Darshan scheme for the development of theme-based tourism that catered to mass and niche tourism.
In February 2016, the Ministry of Tourism launched a mobile app called Swachh Paryatan. The app allows citizens to report on any hygiene issues at multiple tourist destinations in the country. In addition, a multilingual tourist helpline was also launched in February 2016 again. Tourists were able to receive information in several languages including Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, other than English and Hindi.
For any country, tourism has been an exceptional source of revenue, not forgetting the increasing number of jobs it creates. The Centre’s decision to hold important meetings at tourist destinations will increase the visibility of these destinations; the move has the ability to shed light on their intriguing history and attract more tourists.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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