New Delhi: Speaking at an ASSOCHAM conference here today Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, said that tourism industry could benefit a lot from medical tourism in the post Corona period as India has not just proved to be safer vis a vis other places and got a lot of recognition and name in the world for this but is also the most ideal for dealing with post Corona impacts that people may still carry.
Addressing the session on “Reviving the stressed sectors to support the post-COVID recovery for India” at ASSOCHAM’s virtual conference, the Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Tourism & Culture said, “ Corona is almost over now and whatever damage it had to do has happened. During this period our steps brought a lot of good name for the country. Even foreigners preferred to stay back here and felt safe. Now the post Corona situation is one where our system of medicine, local cure and wellness methods are what could be best suited to deal with it. After corona medical tourism is expected to rise and we must be prepared for this opportunity. “
Also, people are now preferring to go to tiger projects and other serene places to be with nature and not just prefer big hotels who will continue to have their own importance and preference for international events etc, he added.
Lauding the role of ASSOCHAM for its contribution to the growth of the industry as well as sharing forward looking ideas with the government the Hon’ble Minister said, “Govt acknowledges the contribution of ASSOCHAM in the growth of the industry and the country. We understand the impact of Corona on the industry and we have accepted the loan restructuring proposals and forwarded to the finance ministry. Honourable PM Modi Ji is himself continuously focusing on tourism and as per his vision and guidance we are moving forward with our efforts for the growth of tourism industry.”
ASSOCHAM is organizing a five day long virtual conference on its Foundation Day from 15th to 19th December 2020 with central theme “India’s resilience: Atmanirbhar roadmap towards US$5 trillion economy” where a series of sessions are being dedicated by various ministers including Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shri Piyush Goyal, Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Shri Santosh Gangwar, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Shri Prahlad Singh Patel.
Ms. Rupinder Brar, IRS Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “Domestic tourism is now happening in a more organic fashion as an organised vertical and has a lot of potential. India’s natural heritage have been rated 6th greatest in the world by the World Economic Forum. In the post Covid recovery I would like to say that we truly are a blessed land. Having said that, we are not forgetting the global market too.”
Speaking at the event, Mr. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes, said, “We strongly believe that technology will drive the next phase of growth for India’s travel and tourism sector. The current situation also gives as an opportunity to collaborate and create a safe and hygienic ecosystem for travellers in the country. OYO has made some good progress in this space through multiple initiatives like Sanitised Stays, Sanitise Before your Eyes and Contactless Check-in. With an increased focus on domestic travel, we have an opportunity to develop smaller cities in India as the next tourism hubs while being Atma Nirbhar to revive the sector and realise the vision of our Honourable Prime Minister of making India a $5 trillion economy. We appreciate the diligent efforts of the Honourable Minister of Tourism Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel towards ensuring that India’s tourism industry moves in the right and positive direction.”
Speaking at the session, Shri Ajay Bakaya, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels, said, “The hotel industry sits amidst its most challenging times in its history. Loan repayments, fresh fund infusion, and rocky cash flows continue to stifle. The industry looks forward to working together painstakingly with the government to tide over this crisis.”
Talking on the importance of the tourism industry for the country, Shri Manik Batra, Director, Batra Group, Chairman, ASSOCHAM J&K Council said, “Tourism is not only a major contributor to our GDP but also helps generate a lot of employment. Coming from J&K , I understand the importance of tourism in the socio economic development of a region. Tourism sector would play an important role to realise our Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy.”
Shri Mahesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales & Business Development,
IHHR Hospitality, said: “As the most severely impacted sector due to Covid, this critical industry with an exponential multiplier effect on economic revival must receive significant national attention, encouragement and stimulus. Thank you to ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020 to bring this to Centre Stage and look forward to sharing strategies for tourism revival with the panel of eminent industry and ministry experts.”
Moderating the event, Dr. Subhash Goyal, Founder & Chairman, STIC Travel Group of Companies, said, “After Covid-19, Tourism was the first to get affected and will be the last to recover. However, if scheduled international flights are started along with e-visas then it can also be the first to bounce back. With a little financial and taxation support, we could save about 50 million jobs and Tourism & Aviation industry could play a major role in achieving the 5 trillion dollar economy for our country.”