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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Working hand in hand to showcase India

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Bharat Gaurav Trains, India’s tourism, National Conference on Tourist Police, National Tourism Policy 2022 etc
  • Mains GS Paper I and II: Government policies and interventions for development of various sectors and issues arising out of them.

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • On National Tourism Day (January 25) the Ministry of Railways, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, is launching its Jagannath Yatra train package.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Tourism:

  • India ranks 6th according to the World Travel and Tourism Council in terms of Travel & Tourism total contribution to GDP in 2021.
  • India is currently ranked 54th in World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (2021).
  • India has 40 sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List (32 cultural, 7 natural, and 1 mixed) as of 2021.
    • Dholavira and Ramappa Temple are the latest ones.

 

Jagannath Yatra train package:

  • It is an eight-day tour that begins from Delhi, traverses Kashi and other places and ends at the Vishnupad temple in Gaya.
  • It is launched by the Ministry of Railways, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism.
  • This is linked to using Bharat Gaurav Trains (or theme-based tourist circuit trains): To highlight India’s rich cultural heritage and history.

 

Promotion of India’s tourism by Government:

  • The Ministry of Tourism has prioritized the task of inter-ministerial cooperation and coordination, breaking down silos and working together effectively with other Ministries.
  • The Ministry of Tourism coordinates with over 20 central government Ministries in the promotion and the development of tourism in the country.
  • The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Home Affairs organized the National Conference on Tourist Police.
    • To develop tourist specific policing
    • Aim: working with the police and sensitizing them on addressing the needs of foreign and domestic tourists.
  • With The Ministry of Education: Tourism Ministry has begun establishing ‘Yuva Tourism’ clubs to nurture young ambassadors of Indian tourism.
  • The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is aiming to make India an attractive cruise tourism destination using state-of-the-art infrastructure.
  • In partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs: tourism officers have been placed in 20 Indian missions in countries that contribute to some of the highest foreign tourist arrivals in India.
    • Role:
      • Facilitating and providing inputs for country-specific sensibilities and having them reflected in tourism products.
    • With the Ministry of Roadways and the Petroleum Ministry: steps are being taken to ensure that highways and fuel stations have clean sanitation infrastructure.
    • The Ministry of Tourism is funding several commercial flight routes in partnership with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, making them viable.

 

Tourism policy:

  • To promote investment in the tourism sector: granting of industry status to the sector, along with formally granting infrastructure status to hotels.
  • Five key areas would be given significant focus in the next 10 years:
    • green tourism
    • digital tourism
    • destination management
    • skilling the hospitality sector
    • supporting tourism-related Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • Relief Measures and Taxation Breaks
  • It doesn’t deal with specific operational issues, but offers framework conditions to help the sector, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

 

Recent Initiatives Related to Tourism in India:

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme
  • Draft National Tourism Policy 2022
  • Dekho Apna Desh Initiative
  • National Green Tourism Mission

 

Way Forward

  • The new draft National Tourism Policy 2022 has been formulated after situational analysis including the impact of COVID-19 and taking into account future projections for the tourism sector with a vision for India@100.
  • G-20 presidency: Every delegate or visitor who is in India to attend the G-20 summit will return as a brand ambassador and spread the word on India’s rich cultural, spiritual and natural heritage.
  • The Ministry of Tourism declaration of “Visit India Year 2023” aims to promote various tourism products and destinations to increase India’s share in the global tourism market.
  • Domestic tourism has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, even exceeding it in some cases.
    • Jammu and Kashmir: record 84(one point eight four)crore domestic tourists visiting in 2022.
  • For centuries many great foreign travelers have visited India and shared their experiences in the form of memoirs, travelogs, poetry and books, as Megasthenes, Hiuen-Tsang, Marco Polo, and Fa-Hien have shown.
  • As the birthplace to four major world religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism
    • India can truly claim to be the world’s spiritual beacon.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Q. How does Indian society maintain continuity in traditional social values? Enumerate the changes taking place in it.(UPSC 2021) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)