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Parliamentary committee recommended for a Tourism Council

Published: 30th Dec, 2022

Context

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has suggested fast-tracking the creation of a National Tourism Council on the lines of the GST council to directly make recommendations to the Central and State governments on various issues of the tourism sector and its stakeholders.

Key points of recommendation:

  • Inclusion in concurrent list:Inclusion of tourism in the concurrent list to help in simplifying the issues of the pandemic-hit Indian tourism sector since tourism is a multi-sectoral activity.
  • Unsatisfactory progress:The committee expressed concern that in projects sanctioned five years ago or before 2017-18, like the ‘Development at Hazratbal’ in Jammu and Kashmir and ‘Infrastructure Development at Puri, Shree Jagannath Dham – Ramachandi- Prachi River front at Deuli under Mega Circuit’ in Odisha, the progress rates achieved have been less than expected.
  • Need to do more:Merely drafting a National Tourism Policy is not enough for the development of the tourism sector in the country.
  • Creation of Tourism Council:Hence, there is a need for a Tourism council to monitor the growth, fund allocation and related delays in projects for Tourism in various states.

About

About National Tourism Policy:

  • A National Tourism Policy (NTP) was formulated in 2002. However, due to some development, a new draft National Tourism Policy has been formulated and the same is yet to be approved.
  • Some of the salient features of the new drafted National Tourism Policy include:
    • Focus of the Policy on employment generation and community participation in tourism development.
    • Stress on development of tourism in a sustainable and responsible manner.
    • All-encompassing Policy involving linkages with various Ministries, Departments, States/Union Territories and Stakeholders.
    • The Policy enshrines the vision of developing and positioning India as a “MUST EXPERIENCE” and “MUST RE-VISIT” Destination for global travellers, whilst encouraging Indians to explore their own country.
    • Development and promotion of varied tourism products including the rich Culture and Heritage of the country, as well as niche products such as Medical &Wellness, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), Adventure, Wildlife, etc.
    • Development of core infrastructure (airways, railways, roadways, waterways, etc.) as well as Tourism Infrastructure.
    • Developing quality human resources in the tourism and hospitality sectors across the spectrum of vocational to professional skills development and opportunity creation.
    • Creating an enabling environment for investment in tourism and tourism-related infrastructure.
    • Emphasis on technology enabled development in tourism.
    • Focus on domestic tourism as a major driver of tourism growth.
    • Focus on promotions in established source markets and potential markets, which are contributing significantly to global tourist traffic, with targeted and country specific campaigns.
    • Emphasis on Tourism as the fulcrum of multi-sectoral activities and dovetailing of activities of the Ministry with important/flagship schemes of the Government of India.

How is Tourism important for nation’s economy?

  • Generating Income and Employment
  • Source of Foreign Exchange Earnings
  • Preservation of National Heritage and Environment
  • Tourism tends to encourage the development of multiple-use infrastructure
  • Tourism helps promote peace and stability by providing jobs, generating income, diversifying the economy, protecting the environment, and promoting cross-cultural awareness

Recent Developments:

As of now eight States—Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have accorded industry status to hospitality project.

What are the challenges in tourism Industry of India?

  • Lack of Proper Infrastructure
  • Lack of access and Connectivity
  • Poor condition of Amenities (water, waiting rooms and toilets, first aid, lounge, cafeteria, and parking facilities, among others)
  • Lack of trained human resource
  • Old traditional marketing approach
  • Lack of security (Terrorist attacks or political unrest)

 

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