Need to think out of box to take tourism sector to new heights: PM

PM addressing Post Budget Webinar on ‘Developing Tourism in Mission Mode’ on March 3, 2023.

New Delhi, Mar 3 :Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that there is a need to think out of the box and plan ahead to take tourism in India to new heights.

Addressing a Post Budget Webinar on the subject of ‘Developing Tourism in Mission Mode’ he said that hundreds of years of slavery and the political neglect of tourists places in the decades were the root cause that inflicted damage to the country.

“The India of today is changing this situation” he added.

The Prime Minister informed that several places in India have been identified through the route of competitive spirit and challenge in this year’s Budget while also focussing on the holistic development of the destinations.

He also asked for a detailed discussion on how different stakeholders can be engaged.

Throwing the spotlight on the increasing number of foreign tourists in India, the Prime Minister informed that 8 lakh foreign tourists have come to India in January this year compared to only 2 lakhs in January last year.

The Prime Minister also underlined the need to profile such tourists and create a special strategy to attract them to the country who has the maximum spending capacity.

“Foreign tourists who come to India spend an average of $1700, while international travelers spend an average of $2500 in America and around $5000 in Australia” he said.

“India has a lot to offer to high-spending tourists”, he pointed out. The Prime Minister stressed that every state needs to change its tourism policy to align with this thought.

Highlighting the basic challenge of the tourism sector, the Prime Minister pointed out the lack of professional tourist guides here and stressed the need for certificate courses in local colleges for guides.

He suggested that guides working in a particular tourist destination should also have a specific dress or uniform so that tourists will come to know at first glance.

The Prime Minister listed out the potential of the place, ease of travelling to the destination, and new ways to promote the destination.

He further added that emphasizing these parameters helps in preparing a roadmap for the future.

He also gave the example of Ramayan Circuit, Buddha Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Northeast Circuit, Gandhi Circuit, and pilgrimages of all saints, and stressed the need to work together collectively on this.

He also informed that 15 lakh devotees have gone to see Baba Kedar compared to only 4-5 lakhs before the completion of reconstruction work in Kedarghati.

“Similarly in Pavagadh of Gujarat, the Prime Minister informed that 80 thousand pilgrims go for the darshan of Maa Kalika compared to only 4 to 5 thousand people before the renovation” he said.

The Prime Minister noted that the increase in facilities has a direct impact on the number of tourists and the increasing numbers mean more opportunities for employment and self-employment.

“India’s tourism sector can increase manifold with growing civic amenities, good digital connectivity, good hotels and hospitals, no trace of filth, and excellent infrastructure” he said.

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