Travel trade to play a proac­tive role

Dr Lalit K Pan­war, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, talks about join­ing hands with the travel trade and state gov­ern­ments. He says we can­not have a Swachh Bharat with­out neat and clean air­ports, bus stands, rail­way sta­tions, her­itage m

TravTalk - India - - Front Page - PE­DEN DOMA BHUTIA

With the Prime Min­is­ter talk­ing about In­dian tourism at ev­ery plat­form, what is the MOT fo­cussing on to de­velop tourism?

Since the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has given very high pri­or­ity to tourism, we, at the MOT, would try our best to join hands with the travel trade and cap­tains of the tourism in­dus­try, and take In­dian tourism to new heights and en­sure that tourism plays a key role in the growth of the In­dian econ­omy.

Will we also see the Min­istry launch­ing any new ini­tia­tives?

We will be launch­ing some new ini­tia­tives where the stake­hold­ers, es­pe­cially the travel trade, play a more proac­tive role. Co­op­er­a­tion should be multi-pronged in almost ev­ery sec­tor – mar­ket­ing, pub­lic­ity, hu­man re­sources, des­ti­na­tion man­age­ment, CSR for main­tain­ing mon­u­ments and for cre­at­ing tourism ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties. This is a field which is wide open, and we in the min­istry be­lieve that gov­ern­ment ef­forts have to be in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the pri­vate sec­tor, the pub­lic sec­tor and the pub­lic at large.

The Tourist Visa-on-Ar­rival fa­cil­ity en­abled by Elec­tronic Travel Au­tho­ri­sa­tion (ETA) for 43 coun­tries was rolled out in Delhi last month. Your thoughts…

It's a ma­jor decision of the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia. It con­veys the mes­sage of how im­por­tant the sec­tor is and it au­gurs well for the in­dus­try. It is a par­a­digm shift for the tourism in­dus­try, and it'll take the num­ber of for­eign tourists com­ing to In­dia to greater heights. De­pend­ing upon how it is re­ceived, we'll re­quest the gov­ern­ment to in­crease this from 43 to many more coun­tries.

How does the MOT look to work with the state gov­ern­ments to help them de­velop tourism?

We, at the MOT, work in col­lab­o­ra­tion with state gov­ern­ments, and we look to pro­mote

them at var­i­ous plat­forms. Hav­ing re­alised the po­ten­tial of tourism, the states are now very fo­cussed on the growth of the tourism in­dus­try. It's a joint ven­ture, we are a fed­eral polity and the union and the state gov­ern­ments have to join hands for the pro­mo­tion of tourism.

What is the kind of co­op­er­a­tion that you seek from state gov­ern­ments?

We would like to re­quest the state gov­ern­ments to help in the main­te­nance and man­age­ment of tourist spots and her­itage mon­u­ments, so that th­ese places are cleaner, neater and vis­i­tor-friendly. Un­der the over­all con­cept of the Prime Min­is­ter’s pro­gramme of Swachh Bharat, we also should have some ver­ti­cal deal­ing with the tourism sec­tor. We can­not have a Swachh Bharat with­out neat and clean air­ports, bus stands, rail­way sta­tions, her­itage mon­u­ments and tourist sites.

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