Hon’ble Union Tourism Minister Shri Prahlad Singh Patel held a ‘Brainstorming Session’ on “Promotion of Incredible India – Post Covid-19” with Influencers and Travel Media on 08th September 2020 at Hotel The Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Around 40 influencers and travel media representatives took part in the brainstorming session. DG, Tourism, Smt Meenakshi Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director ITDC, G Kamala Vardhana Rao, ADG Tourism, Smt Rupinder Brar, Joint Secretary, Tourism Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma and other officials of Ministry of Tourism were also present during the session. All precautions and social distancing norms of Government’s SOP were followed in the meeting.
The session began with the welcome address by ADG(T), highlighting on the significance of young Influencers and Travel Media for the promotion of Tourism in the Country.
The Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (Independent Charge) in his key note address focused on the importance of showcasing the different offerings of our ancient land, natural and built heritage and customs and lifestyle to our own people which have long stood the test of time. He further suggested using COVID as an opportunity to leverage on the strengths of our country. He stated that Media has been an intrinsic and critical part of promoting various campaigns in the domain of tourism. The Hon’ble Minister requested all attendees to give their valuable suggestions to promote tourism in India. He said that we all represent India and it is our responsibility to think about post-COVID-19 tourism opportunities in our country. He said that this is the platform where we can talk about the problem as well as solutions with reference to tourism-related activities.
Shri Patel said that India will pick up the speed in the tourism sector again once the situation gets normal. We all should be prepared for the post-COVID-19 world where we can serve tourists a better and safe environment to enhance their travel experiences. He said that people are very positive and ready to explore the beauty of India with all precautions; we should create an environment where they could trust us during this pandemic.
Currently, India’s tourism sector contributes to GDP is 5.07%. Tourism accounts for 12.75% of the total employment (direct or indirect) in India. India is one of the hot spots for tourism and one of the most talked-about destinations in the World with 38 World Heritage sites that are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Promotion of Incredible India is as important as opening up the restriction for tourists to start cross travelling across states and visit our India under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’.
During the Promotion of Incredible India – Post-COVID session, different influencers, and travel media representatives shared their experiences and provided their valuable suggestions to make tourism safer, friendly, accessible, responsible, and affordable for all tourists, especially for women. Some participants gave a suggestion to focus on domestic tourism and less popular sites of India. They said that India is the home for hidden gems and we should promote tourism in these areas by providing information and facilities in these lesser-known great tourist destinations.
One participant suggested opening more sites for camping with safety measures so that we can promote adventure tourism in India. Suggestions regarding promoting experiential tourism also came from a participant; he said that it will encourage other tourists also to explore different destinations. During the discussion, it was also observed that in order to promote tourism among masses information-sharing mechanism should be very strong.
At the end of the session, the Tourism Minister thanked all the participants for their active participation in the brainstorming session. He said that we want participation from all stakeholders in our policymaking, therefore; we have invited all of you to provide your feedback to us. He said that we have noted your suggestions and these will be incorporated in our future policy planning.
Shri Patel hoped that India will emerge again as a favourite tourist destination after Covid-19 era till then we should focus on our domestic tourism because now those Indians who were to visit foreign destinations will visit only domestic destinations which will give strength to our tourism industry.
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