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Sansad TV: Perspective- Promoting Tourism

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Introduction:

Tourism sector in India is a significant economic multiplier and is becoming increasingly important as the country strives for rapid economic growth and employment creation. Despite the tourism sector being severely affected by COVID, India witnessed a jump in Foreign Tourist Arrivals in 2022. The Draft National Tourism Policy formulated by the Ministry of Tourism is a holistic framework for sustainable and responsible growth of the tourism sector in the country. The Policy aims at improving framework conditions for tourism development in the country and supporting tourism industries. India is observing ‘Visit India Year 2023’ on in order to develop tourism in mission mode and to accelerate India’s rise towards world leadership in tourism sector. The Ministry of Tourism is also organizing 1st Global Tourism Investors’ Summit in May this year to showcase investible projects and opportunities in tourism and hospitality sector in India to domestic and international investors.

Measures needed: Tourist Police Scheme

  • As many as 29 foreigners were murdered in the last three years. While 14 foreigners fell victim to rape last year, 16 were raped in 2020 and 12 in 2019.
  • As many as 15 cases of assault to outraging modesty of foreign women were registered last year across the country, apart from 14 complaints of cheating.
  • Booklet on the tourist police scheme and tourist police stations: The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has brought out a booklet on the tourist police scheme detailing the mode of setting up of tourist police stations and control rooms, outposts, uniforms, recruitment, qualifications, training and logistics requirements for tourist police stations.
  • Identified tourist spots: As many as 25 popular tourist spots have been identified in the country where the tourist police necessarily need to be deployed to help foreigners. As an incentive, 30% deputation allowance has been recommended for the police personnel who joins the tourist police on deputation.
  • Identified Criminals in and around tourists’ spots need to be kept on constant surveillance
  • Fast track courts should be set immediately to try cases of crimes against tourists
  • States that have tourist police: Though the concept of ‘tourist police’ has been in vogue for the past few years, it has not been given the kind of attention it deserves. The States that have tourist police are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala.
  • Delhi a neglected state is gearing up for tourist police wing: In view of the forthcoming G20 Summit, the Delhi police is gearing up its tourist police wing, which was hitherto in a neglected state and so are other States which will see a huge influx of foreigners.

Potential and prospects :-

  • Generating Income and Employment: 
    • Tourism in India has emerged as an instrument of income and employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. It contributes 6.23% to the national GDP and 8.78% of the total employment in India. Almost 20 million people are now working in the India’s tourism industry.
  • 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. The tourism industry in India generated about US$100 billion in 2008 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate.
  • The sector also has the potential to create micro-entrepreneurs who in turn can employ more people. The multiplier effect it delivers is high.
  • In fact, tourism helped Spain which receives over 68 million international tourists annually fight its recent economic downturn.
  • According to the World Tourism Organisation, the sector provides for 10 per cent of the world’s GDP, 7 per cent of the global trade and creates one in every 11 jobs worldwide.
  • Travel and tourism sector in India has the potential to grow much faster and support 46 million jobs by 2025, provided the right investments and policies continue to be implemented
  • Rural areas:
  • Indian Tourism offers a potpourri of different cultures, traditions, festivals, and places of interest. There are a lot of options for the tourists. India is a country with rich cultural and traditional diversity. This aspect is even reflected in its tourism. The different parts of the country offer wide variety of interesting places to visit.

Conclusion

  • With optimistic predictions of about 13.34 million foreign tourists arriving by 2024, there is a pressing need to upgrade our security systems specially to provide a flawless security blanket cover to foreign tourists.
  • Safety assumes utmost importance to draw tourists in hordes.
  • 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.