New Tourism Policy eyes job creation
The new Tourism Policy will be launched on May 15, 2015. speaks to Dr Lalit Panwar, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, about the focus points of the policy.
Q National Tourism Policy talks about job creation and tourists’ safety, how are you working towards this?
The Prime Minister has been laying special emphasis on skills and also on tourism. Our policy will try to attempt a synergy between skills and tourism. The thrust will be on how to create jobs for our youth. Any policy for example, Make In India, is basically designed for manufacturing which leads to creation of jobs, so our ministry’s thrust will be on creation of as many jobs as possible for the youths of our country. The Himmat app of the Delhi police already exists, so when I stress on App it means apps like the Himmat App, which can be fine-tuned to suit the requirements of the tourist and take care of their safety and security.
Q What are the other focus points of the Policy?
India is a cultural tourist destination so another focus area will be on how to preserve the past for our future. If the past is not good the future will not be good. We have a common minister so there will be a synergy between these two units. Without culture there is no tourism as well.
Q How are you working towards formulating the National Tourism Policy, 2015?
We had a detailed one- day workshop where all the top brains of the Indian tourism industry were there, we had national-level consultations on tourism. On April 8 we have called all state secretaries of tourism and we’ll also be meeting the tourism veterans of our country for their suggestions. So, we’ll have 6- 7 rounds of consultation before we begin work on it.
Q With the Finance Minister calling for evisas for 150 countries, how is the MoT working on it?
We already have 44 countries under this scheme and in the last three months 90,000 visas have been issued. The response has been tremendous and now we’ll be implementing it in two phases, we have already prepared a list of countries from where we are already getting tourists and sent it to the government. We exactly went by the percentage of our source markets, starting from the country where we get the maximum tourists and then on. We’ll be sending out the list in two phases, the first list has countries which are our top source markets the remaining 50 are countries which are our potential markets. The countries for the first phase will be declared in the next 2- 3 months, probably by end June so that we get good bookings for the next season.
Q With work starting on the Indian Culinary Institute what can we look forward to?
The foundation stone of the Indian Culinary Institute has been laid by the Tourism Minister and within two years the construction will be complete it is being constructed by National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), we’ll offer degree programmes, post graduate degree, doctorate programmes, anything related to the culinary science and art.
Lalit Panwar Secretary, MoT