reddy: Vax is the key to reviving tourism: Minister G Kishan Reddy | Bangalore News

BENGALURU: Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Thursday that there can be no greater confidence booster for reviving tourism than widespread vaccine coverage against Covid-19.
Speaking on the opening day of a two-day conference of tourism and culture ministers from southern India’s states in Bengaluru on Thursday, Reddy praised the country’s milestone of administering a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine, calling it “the spirit of cooperative federalism” and said it would go a long way in reviving the tourism sector in the country.
Reddy said that vaccination against Covid-19 and tourism will go hand in hand in the current scenario, and without the antidote, tourism will not survive and no tourists will come.
Covid-induced closures and restrictions have hit the industry hard, with many hotel and resort owners shutting down after finding it economically unviable. Hundreds of taxi owners had also surrendered their licenses, their plight made worse by soaring fuel prices.
However, things have improved for the sector in the past two months after the government eased restrictions. Tour operators and hotels are banking on the current holiday season to boost fortunes. During the Dasara season, hotel occupancy rates soared to around 60%, a dream until recently.
“We must take advantage of difficult times to rethink, regenerate and reinvent the sector,” said the Union Minister. “The platform must deliberate on how best governments can help the sector that suffered the most severe economic downturn during the pandemic. We need to find ways to help the industry revive and develop to its full potential. ”
Reddy said the Union Tourism Ministry unveiled several measures to encourage tourism and boost investment. The initiatives include a national policy, developed after close consultations with States and all stakeholders. He said it would be unveiled soon.
He said the consultations included discussions to provide industry status to various tourism projects, unsecured loans of Rs 10 lakh to tour operators and Rs 1 lakh to tour guides who have been affected by the pandemic and a new campaign. ‘Incredible India 2.0’ based on data. .
In addition, five lakhs of free visas will be provided to foreign visitors once international travel opens, while e-visas will be extended to 169 countries, he said.
“We have witnessed the victory of scientists, the victory of healthcare workers and the collective spirit of 130 million Indians. It is a victory for the “new India” and “the India team” and a victory for the spirit of cooperative federalism and our corona warriors. It has also helped the tourism industry to revive, ”said Reddy.
The conference aims to inform various stakeholders about the projects launched by the Center for the development of the region and the revival of a sector ravaged by the pandemic. Reddy said the Union government’s decision to scale up vaccination at this speed was aimed at ensuring that lives and livelihoods are protected.

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