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Sansad TV: Perspective- National Tourism Policy

 

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Introduction:

The government will bring in the new National Tourism Policy before the Budget Session of Parliament. Union Tourism and Culture Minister made the announcement while addressing the National Conference of State Tourism Ministers on Sunday. He said after vast consultations and deliberations with stakeholders, the policy is at the concluding stage and will soon be placed before the Union Cabinet. The policy aims to bring about some much-needed reforms in the tourism and hospitality sector, which is one of the largest service industries in India. As per data cited by the Tourism minister, the tourism sector generated Rs 16.91 lakh crore or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 and has supported around 42.67 million jobs or 8.1% of the total employment in the country. For India to achieve the goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy and a developed nation, the tourism sector has a huge role and potential, to harness which the Tourism policy has laid down various objectives.

Tourism- main pillar of India’s economy:

Reasons why rural tourism need to be promoted:

  • Seeing the stressful urban lifestyles leading towards “counter-urbanization” syndrome
  • Growing curiosity of urban people regarding rural culture and heritages
  • Changing attitude in Indian and global tourists behaviour in terms of nature awareness and increasing demand for niche tourism and green products. So it is evident that the future of Rural Tourism in India is going to be very promising one.

Maintaining the sustainable livelihood:

  • It has a great impact in case of maintaining the sustainable livelihood of the rural population, promoting local culture and heritages, empowering local women, alleviating poverty, conserving and preserving natural resources, improving basic rural infrastructure, adopting new work culture and overall developing a better impression of locality and its people in tourists’ mind.

Reduces migration:

  • Tourism facilitates the declining areas to be developed with basic infrastructure facilities and provides the host community alternative ways of employment and side by side it reduces out-migration.
  • It fosters a closer relationship between city dwellers and rural communities.

Alternative Way of Earning:

  • Tourism can be a potential tool to reduce over-dependency on cultivation especially in rural areas and it contributes to the overall economic development of an area that would otherwise be deprived.

Employment:

  • Tourism creates a large number of semi-skilled jobsfor the local population in not only local hotels and catering trades but also in other fields like transport, retailing, heritage interpretation etc.
  • Moreover, it ensures revival of traditional arts, crafts, building art etc. and brings marketing opportunity for rural producers to sell their products directly to the tourists.
  • It allows alternative sources of earning opportunities from non-agricultural sectors that improve living standards of the rural dwellers to some extent.

Poverty Alleviation:

  • Rural Tourism is being admired all over the world because such form of tourism can shape up rural society both by economic and social terms.
  • It brings both monetary and social benefits to the rural people.
  • It alleviates poverty by creating alternative sources of earning.

Empowerment of Localities

  • Tourism cannot be flourished without the involvement of local people in it.
  • Accommodation facilities are being provided by local hotel owners whereas local suppliers supply food and beverages to the local hotels.

Entrepreneurial scope:

  • Tourism has increased career options for the young entrepreneurs.

Arts and Crafts Sale:

  • Arts and crafts are the evidence of local culture and heritages of a community belonging from any region or any nation. The urban tourists, wherever they go, generally prefer to have a collection of local arts and crafts to make their trip-experience a remembering one.

Environmental Improvement:

  • Environmental improvements such as village paving and traffic regulation schemes, sewage and litter disposal can be assisted by tourism revenues and political pressures from tourism authorities.

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.

Draft policy:

  • Framework: Draft on National Tourism Policy 2022aims at improving the framework conditions for tourism development in the country.
    • Supporting tourism industries, strengthening tourism support functions and developing tourism sub-sectors.
    • Impetus to digitalisation, innovation and technology through the National Digital Tourism Mission and skilling through the Tourism andHospitality Sector Skill Mission.
    • The policy also gives a special impetus to private sector participation through public-private-partnerships (PPP)

Conclusion

  • If the goal of positioning of India as one of the world’s best tourism destinations by 2047, there is need to integrate various schemes of different ministries.
  • Need to involve various stakeholders, and local communities; necessary interventions at urban and rural level should be a priority.