The government is determined to take tourism to the next level and make the country one of the most attractive destinations for tourists. This was stated by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (Independent Charge) and Minster of State for Civil Aviation while speaking at the Tourism Roundtable at the Global Exhibition on Services (GES), organised by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC).
Tourism has the potential to serve as a major growth engine for the country, for which we need to address the issues plaguing the sector in a time-bound manner. The minister urged the industry to join hands with the government to tap this potential. Elaborating on the vision and the recent steps taken by the government to promote tourism sector, Dr Sharma apprised that the government is specifically focusing on three key areas: Cleanliness, Security and Hospitality.
Addressing the gathering, Ha Van Sieu, Vice Chairman, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that while India and Vietnam are engaged in intense bilateral co-operation in several areas, the tourist flows between them is still low. The two countries need to work in the area of harnessing the potential of tourism. India provides a vast opportunity for Vietnam to attract tourists in bulk, and necessary steps will be taken to harness this potential. The country would also need support from India in this endeavour, he added.
Lauding the recent initiatives taken by the new government for the tourism sector, Arjun Sharma, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Chairman, Le Passage to India, underlined pending actions for the sector including development of a road map for the sector through a robust National Tourism Policy, improved connectivity – especially air connectivity, and an empowered tourism board.
Welcoming the participants from a range of countries at the session, Nakul Anand, Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism and Executive Director, ITC Limited, highlighted the need for unraveling the huge potential of leisure segment of India’s tourism industry. We need to convert this latent natural and economic advantage to competitive advantage. States and union territories have to play a pro-active role in realising this potential by initiating breakthrough ideas and bringing them to a logical conclusion, said Anand.
Giving his vote of thanks, Subash Verma, Honorary Secretary, Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) and Chairman, Travel Plus, said that tourism is one of the most powerful tools for growth and development and praised the government’s initiatives and determination for making India a preferred tourist destination.