The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, brought many burning issues of the industry to the fore. Tourism Ministers of 12 states including Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Haryana, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh discussed the ways and means to realise the potential of the sector.

During concluding remarks, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy thanked all the State delegates and sector representatives for their valuable suggestions. Reddy urged that all states share and adopt best practices to boost the tourism sector. He insisted that such conferences be organised at state level with district officers of different departments and stakeholders to improve and promote tourism destinations. 

The Taj Mahal is one of the main tourist destinations in India, and will certainly help to achieve the true potential of tourism. One of the key takes of the conference was that the most fundamental requirement is to ensure coordination at every level in order to have a proactive approach from every stakeholder, be it the centre, states or the industry. The immense mausoleum of white marble built in Agra is one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage and has the honour of being amongst the New 7 Wonders of the World. 

Talking about the outcome of the conference, Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh reassured that India will play a pivotal role in contributing towards global tourism recovery driven mainly through domestic tourism. “All the major tourism indices have started showing signs of recovery towards pre-pandemic levels such, as domestic air passenger traffic, hotel occupancy and tourist footfalls”, he noted. 

The National Tourism Policy has been drafted with a holistic vision and strategy to revive India’s tourism and targets to achieve USD 1 trillion by the sector in 2047. The Ministry is also paving the way for developing responsible and sustainable tourism destinations. The Government of India will continue to support tourism and capitalise on the employment generation potential in the sector. “Various initiatives under the ongoing strategies of the Ministry of Tourism are planned to be strengthened to ensure a complete recovery from the disruption caused to the tourism economy due to the pandemic”, Singh explained.

He further stated that India is estimated to earn a USD 250 billion GDP contribution from tourism, 137 million jobs, US$ 56 billion in Foreign Exchange Earnings and 25 million foreign tourist arrivals are expected to be achieved by 2030. “We commit to deliver plans aligned with these goals and commitments to ensure positioning of India as one of the leaders in the tourism sector by 2047”, Singh added.