The Ministry of Tourism celebrated the National Tourism Day by holding a two-hour program on a virtual platform today January 25, 2022 under the aegis of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration, marking 75 years of the independence of India. The theme of this year’s celebration is rural and community tourism. Rural tourism provides valuable business and employment opportunities to communities facing the growing challenge of providing viable livelihoods for their local people.
The program was chaired by the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoER, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, who was the chief guest of the event. The program began with opening remarks by Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and followed by addresses by Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Shri Govind Mohan, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Smt. Leena Nandan, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri G. Ashok Kumar, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Shri Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group and Col. Manoj Keshwar, Atulya Ganga Parikrama .
During the show, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER, launched the digital booklet 75 Incredible Places to Visit in India and the Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India 2022 digital calendar dedicated to sites tourist. The Honorable Minister in his address emphasized on aggressively promoting the varied tourism products that India has to offer to the world. Tourism is one of the most job-creating sectors and it plays a vital role in direct and indirect employment. He also discussed the importance of domestic tourism and plans to establish tourism clubs to raise awareness among students and young people in our country. In addition, he insisted on promoting tourism with special emphasis on the North East region and harnessing the potential of the region. The Honorable Minister shared his views on how to increase India’s share in the global tourism market. Also call to reach out to the corporate sector as part of the Embrace a Heritage as part of Corporate Social Responsibility project. He talked about using the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Railways, etc. and how to strengthen tourism in the country.
In the keynote address, Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, explained how the tourism sector in India has become one of the main drivers of economic growth. Tourism promotes national integration and raises citizens’ awareness of the beauty and richness of our great nation’s cultural heritage. It also promotes interregional relations and encourages cultural activities and provides support for local crafts. We have seen how the textile products of Pochampally and the art forms of Raghurajpur have been a major tourist attraction for both domestic and international tourists. It is essential that such models be replicated in other parts of India to bring economic benefits of tourism to local communities to create jobs and bridge the cultural divide between urban and rural spaces.
Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, highlighted the importance of Indian loom and handicrafts which represent the rich culture and heritage of our country. He also explained how loom, craftsmanship and tourism go hand in hand and how this helps to enrich travel experiences.
Shri Govind Mohan, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, GOI spoke about the interconnection between culture and tourism. India is home to the greatest philosophies, temple structures, arts and crafts of world heritage sites. India is a huge cultural repository and the facets of culture are many and unparalleled and we need to integrate them.
Smt. Leena Nandan Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change The GOI highlighted the importance of ecotourism. She also shared her perspective on how we can harness the potential and growth of tourism in the country in a responsible and sustainable way. Strengthen livelihood opportunities for communities and stakeholders that are directly or indirectly linked to the country’s biodiversity, including tiger reserves, sanctuaries, marine areas, etc.
Shri G. Ashok Kumar, Director General of the National Mission for a Clean Ganges, spoke about the project launched for the holistic rejuvenation, restoration and conservation of the Ganges basin. To ensure effective pollution reduction and rejuvenation of the Ganges River by adopting a river basin approach to promote cross-sectoral coordination for comprehensive planning and management and to maintain minimum ecological flows in the Ganges River with the aim of ensuring the water quality and environmental sustainability. development.
Shri Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group, shared his views on tourism in India and the importance of domestic tourism for national integration. India’s rich diversity and heritage can cater to different segments of tourists, from the budget traveler to an unparalleled luxury experience.
Col. Manoj Keshwar, Atulya Ganga Parikrama shared his experience of Ganga Parikrama, an initiative with a vision of rejuvenation and restoration of Indian rivers and their ecosystem. The Ganga Parikrama on foot started from Prayagraj to Gangasagar and up to Gangotri and back to Prayagraj, a journey of 190 days, about 5530 kms touching various towns and villages on the way and millions of people on the way.
For the active Janbhagidari and as an outreach program for the citizens, the Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with MyGov and organized activities, namely the National Tourism Day Poster Design Contest, the Song Contest of the National Tourism Day, National Tourism Day – Picture quiz and writing-contest on ‘Unseen India’ – 75 lesser-known sites in India. These activities are open to everyone across India and the winners will receive exciting prizes.
The government has announced various tax and relief measures to benefit the tourism industry, such as providing financial support to over 11,000 registered tour guides and travel and tourism operators, as well as issuing 5 Lakh Free Tourist Visas. India has reached the historic milestone of administering 150 crore vaccine doses to citizens and started 2022 on a positive note by expanding the scope to include children in the age group 15-17.
Tourism over the past couple of years has been impacted across the world including India due to the ongoing pandemic. In line with the Prime Minister’s call for every citizen to visit at least 15 destinations by 2022 to promote domestic tourism, National Tourism Day celebrations will help raise awareness in the country about the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. A gradual increase in domestic tourism will contribute to recovery and growth in many sectors of society
The government is taking notice of rural tourism – one of the areas where India can excel. Recently, Pochampally village in Telangana was selected as one of the best tourist villages in the world by the United Nations World Tourism Organization for its craftsmanship, reforms and historical significance among the three nominations, namely Ladhpura Khas in Madhya Pradesh, the village of Kongthong in Meghalaya. , and the village of Pochampally in Telangana, submitted by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism proposes to organize a physical event in Pochampally, after the improvement of the pandemic situation. Rural tourism can help disperse tourism in densely populated countries; this draws tourists away from some of the better known and busier areas and provides opportunities for work and economic activity in alternative areas.
Ministry of Tourism field offices across India have carried out various activities to mark the occasion of National Tourism Day such as webinars, quiz contests, speech contest, Heritage Walk Incredible India brand in airports, on taxis. The Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Food Craft Institutes (FCI) and Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITTM) also organized various activities such as cultural programs, ethnic cooking competition rural, Nukkd Natak, etc.