Bharat Gaurav Scheme to promote Tourism
1st Dec, 2021
Recently, the Indian Railways has announced the new scheme ‘Bharat Gaurav’ to tap the huge potential of tourism. Under which, theme-based tourist circuit trains, on the lines of the Ramayana Express, can be run either by private or State-owned operators.
About Bharat Gaurav Scheme
- Service providers, who can be an individual, company, society, trust, joint venture or consortium will be free to decide themes/circuits.
- They can offer an all-inclusive package to tourists including rail travel, hotel accommodation and sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc.
- They have full flexibility to decide the package cost.
- The service providers will also be able to design/furnish the interior of the coaches based on the theme and put branding or advertising inside and outside of the train.
- For this purpose, railways have earmarked 3033 ICF coaches, roughly equal to 150 trains.
What is the process to apply under this scheme?
- Easy one step transparent online registration process. Registration fee of Rs 1 (One) Lakh only.
- Allotment of coaches to all eligible applicants subject to availability. Priority to be based on the Rake Security Deposit Time and Date. Rake Security Deposit of Rs 1 (one) Crore per rake.
- Individual, Partnership Firm, Company, Society, trust, JV/Consortium (Unincorporated/Incorporated) are eligible.
- Right to Use charges and Haulage charges notified in the policy for Service Provider to work out his business model.
- Right to Use Period: 2-10 years.
How is Tourism important for nation’s economy?
- Generating Income and Employment: Tourism in India has emerged as an instrument of income, employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development.
- Source of Foreign Exchange Earnings: Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange earnings in India. This has favourable impact on the balance of payment of the country.
- Preservation of National Heritage and Environment: Tourism helps preserve several places which are of historical importance by declaring them as heritage sites. For instance, the Taj Mahal, the Qutab Minar, Ajanta and Ellora temples, etc, would have been decayed and destroyed had it not been for the efforts taken by Tourism Department to preserve them.
- Developing Infrastructure: Tourism tends to encourage the development of multiple-use infrastructure that benefits the host community, including various means of transports, health care facilities and the hotels and high-end restaurants that cater to foreign visitors.
- Promoting Peace and Stability: Tourism industry can also help promote peace and stability in developing country like India by providing jobs, generating income, diversifying the economy, protecting the environment, and promoting cross-cultural awareness.
Why Heritage Tourism is significant for India?
- Heritage tourism is defined as “travel undertaken to explore and experience places, activities, and artefacts that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present”. It is oriented toward cultural heritage of the tourist location.
- It involves visiting historical or industrial sites, religious travel or pilgrimages.
- India is well known for its rich heritage and ancient culture.
- The country’s rich heritage is amply reflected in the various temples, majestic forts, pleasure gardens, religious monuments, museums, art galleries and urban and rural sites which are citadels of civilization.
- All these structures form the products of heritage tourism.
What are the others related schemes?
- SWADESH Darshan Scheme
- PRASHAD Scheme
- Buddhist Enclave
- Dekho Apna Desh initiative
The purpose of these schemes is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India – including the lesser-known destinations and lesser-known facets of popular destinations.
What are the challenges in tourism Industry of India?
Tourism industry in India is growing and it has vast potential for generating employment and earning large amount of foreign exchange besides giving a fillip to the country’s overall economic and social development.
- Lack of Proper Infrastructure: Infrastructure needs for the travel and tourism industry range from physical infrastructure such as ports of entry to modes of transport to urban infrastructure such as access roads, electricity, water supply, sewerage and telecommunication.
- Access and Connectivity: The infrastructure facilities like air, rail, road connectivity, and hospitality services are still needs to be improved to connect various cities across the country.
- Amenities: Amenities available at various tourist locations and en route need to be improved. These include basic amenities such as drinking water, well maintained and clean waiting rooms and toilets, first aid and wayside such as lounge, cafeteria, and parking facilities, among others.
- Human Resource: To sustain growth in the tourism industry trained manpower is required at various levels such as managerial, supervisory, skilled or semi-skilled. At mid and senior management levels, the industry faces talent crunch and at the front-line staff level, although human resources are adequate, a boom in other service industries such as banking, retail, airline and BPO have resulted in shortage of manpower at this level for the travel and tourism industry.
- Marketing and Promotion: India needs to change its traditional marketing approach to a more competitive and modern approach. There is a need to develop a unique market position and the brand positioning will be the essence of the country’s tourism products to the potential customer.
- Security: Security has been a major problem for our growth in tourism for a number of years. Terrorist attacks or political unrest in different parts of the country have adversely affected sentiments of foreign tourists. However, the government needs to take a proactive approach in addressing these issues and in averting the potential impact on the industry.
Tourism has become the world's largest industry, generating wealth and employment, opening the minds of both visitors and the visited to different ways of life. In worldwide this industry currently employs more than 200 million people. Moreover tourism is one of the best instruments of economic development in all the way.
Tourism sector plays a vital role in the way of helping poor countries to provide employment opportunities in an increasing rate. It is one of the important foreign exchange earning industries has manifested great potential of growth under liberalized Indian economy.
India’s tourism industry is experiencing a strong period of growth, driven by the burgeoning Indian middle class, growth in high spending foreign tourists, and coordinated government campaigns to promote ‘Incredible India’.