Mechuka valley | Photo: wikimedia.org

The tourism industry across the world is witnessing a recovery after the pandemic-induced lockdowns. Addressing industry representatives during the ’95th Annual Convention and AGM of FICCI’, Arvind Singh, secretary, ministry of tourism, Government of India said that India will be one of the few countries in Asia Pacific region to recover faster in 2023.

“The good news is that the whole world is experiencing a recovery in tourism. As per a recent study by WTTC, the prediction is that the global tourism economy will grow at 5.2 per cent while the economy will grow at 2.5 per cent till 2030. Every third job created will be in the tourism sector,” he said.

Singh said that the domestic tourism recovery in India has been very strong. India will be one of the few countries in the Asia Pacific for inbound tourism to recover faster in 2023. All across the country, the destinations are receiving a high volume of tourist traffic. “There is also a strong interest in the hospitality industry to invest in the Northeast destinations as well as in Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands which is an encouraging sign,” he said.

Homestays have also come up in a major way especially in smaller destinations such as Jammu & Kashmir, Northeast, etc. Spiritual Tourism is also growing significantly due to the conscious investments and development happening for this circuit, he added.

While speaking on India’s Century Vision 2047 for tourism with Jyotsna Suri, past president, FICCI: chairperson, FICCI travel, tourism & hospitality committee and chairperson & managing director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, on ministry’s plans and strategies to contribute as much as USD 1 Trillion to the GDP by 2047, Singh said: “Tourism is the largest employment generating sector, and the benefits of tourism must reach at all levels.  There is a huge potential in India tourism that is still yet to be realized and this will help the sector to grow immensely.”

On the question of alignment, co-ordination, and implementation of policies between states and central government, Singh said that tourism involves several allied ministries where on regular intervals, Ministerial meetings are held to discuss the strategies going forward. Similarly for the state governments, the ministry has identified niche segments such as adventure tourism and is working closely with the respective states and private stakeholders to create uniform guidelines which all states can follow. The role of technology will also drive demand in travel and tourism. Initiatives such as the recently launched Digi Yatra will provide seamless travel across the country.

He concluded by mentioning that 200 meetings will be held in 55 destinations during the G20 Summit across the country which will showcase the country’s tourism potential. Apart from these meetings, the ministry of tourism will also conduct specific events for inviting global investments in tourism, meetings of the tourism working group at the Rann of Kutch, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Jammu & Kashmir and Goa and promotion of tourism exchange at the Great Indian Travel Bazaar in Jaipur.

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