New Delhi : The major achievements of Ministry of Tourism for the calendar year 2022 are as follows:
• On 1st December 2022, India took over the G20 group of nations’ presidency for a year. During the Presidency period, which ends on 30th November 2023, the country is expected to host over 200 meetings at 55 locations. Out of these, 4 meetings are being conducted by the Ministry of Tourism, GOI. Further, the Ministry of Tourism through its different domestic offices and ITDC are conducting skill training and sensitization programs for the tourism stakeholders including taxi/ cab drivers, tourist transport drivers, hotel frontline staff, tourist guides etc. The soft skill training programs include etiquette, workplace and personal hygiene, Covid protocol, foreign language amongst others. More than 2000 personnel have been trained so far at the venues of the G 20 meetings, on a pan India basis, so far, with more training programs lined up for the next few months.
• Ministry of Tourism in co-ordination with Ministry of Home Affairs and Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) organized a National Conference of Director Generals/ Inspector Generals (DGs/IGs) of Police Department of all States/UTs in connection with implementation of Uniform Tourist Police Scheme, on 19th October, 2022 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The objective of the National Conference on Tourist Police Scheme is to bring Ministry of Tourism along with Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Police Research & Development and State Govts/ UT Administration on the same platform, so that they may work together in close coordination with the State/UT Police department and sensitize them about the specific requirements of the foreign & domestic tourists for effective implementation of Uniform Tourist Police Scheme at pan-India level.
The National Digital Tourism Mission (NDTM) is intended to connect stakeholders in the tourism eco-system digitally in the same lines of the National Health Mission. Digitalization is key to bring tourism activities under a unified system and thereby enhance the competitiveness of the Hospitality & Tourism sector. NIDHI+ is positioned as an important component of NDTM.
• Under RCS UDAN-3 Tourism, Ministry of Tourism approached Ministry of Civil Aviation, with the purpose of further improving connectivity and got tourism routes included for better connectivity of important tourist places including Iconic sites. Till date, 31 tourism routes have been operationalized. Further to this, Ministry of Tourism has given in-principle approval for inclusion of 28 new tourism routes; therefore, the total number of approved Tourism RCS air routes are now 59.
• The Ministry of Tourism organized the International Tourism Mart in the NER to showcase the tourism potential of the North Eastern States of India at the domestic and international levels. The “10th International Tourism Mart (ITM) for the North East Region was organized from 17th to 19th November 2022 in Aizawl, Mizoram in association with the State Government of Mizoram. The Mart brought together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States on a common platform. ITM provides an avenue for tourism stakeholders of Mizoram and other north-eastern States to showcase the uncharted travel destinations in the region.
• The Ministry of Tourism organized National Conference of State Tourism Ministers from 18th to 20th September 2022 in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh to discuss issues related to development of tourism in the country. The Conference was attended by Tourism Ministers from different States as well as Central Ministries, Tourism & Hospitality Associations, media etc. The objective of the Conference was to bring in diverse perspectives from all the States and Union Territories of India on tourism development and growth and to create a direct dialogue with the States on Schemes, policies and steps being taken at a national level for overall tourism improvement in India. During the Conference, best practices, successful projects and tourism product opportunities from across the country in the tourism sector was shared with the delegates and media. The Conference also focussed on the various policies and programmes of the Ministry, including development of tourism infrastructure, cultural, heritage and spiritual tourism, tourism in the Himalayan States, responsible and sustainable tourism and tourism related aspects of G-20 meetings.
• Ministry of Tourism, in partnership with United Environment Program (UNEP) and Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) organized National Summit on Developing Sustainable & Responsible Tourist Destinations in New Delhi. On the occasion, the Ministry of Tourism launched the National Strategy for Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Traveller Campaign. The Strategy document has identified the strategic pillars for development of sustainable tourism like Promoting Environmental Sustainability, Protecting Biodiversity, Promoting Economic Sustainability, Promoting Socio-Cultural Sustainability, Scheme for Certification of Sustainable Tourism, IEC and Capacity Building and Governance. While launching the Campaign, Secretary (Tourism) indicated that sustainable and responsible tourism practices will be implemented in various projects and initiatives through Swadesh Darshan 2.0.
• The Ministry organised the International Day of Yoga-2022 (IDY-2022) at Parade Ground, Secunderabad, Telangana on 21st June, 2022. The Chief Guest of the event was the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu. Shri G Kishan Reddy, Minister for Tourism, Culture and DoNER presided over the event along with celebrities, sports persons, Heads of Departments from Govt of Telangana and Govt of India, and Senior Officers from Ministry of Tourism. Approximately 10,000 participants attended the programme. The domestic offices of the Ministry too celebrated the occasion by organizing IDY events at various different locations in the country.
• The Ministry of Tourism in order to boost tourism throughout the country signed a Memorandum of Understanding with M/s Alliance Air Aviation Limited (AAAL) on 17th February,2022 at New Delhi. The Ministry endeavours to position India as a preferred tourism destination in the tourism generating markets whereas M/s Alliance Air Aviation Limited with its vast domestic network, plays a vital role in the promotion of tourism in India. The MoU was signed with a view to achieve the common purpose of joint domestic promotion and considering the need to synergise the activities of MoT and AAAL in the tourism markets.
• Ministry of Tourism through its overseas offices, participated in major international travel exhibitions like Arabian Travel Mart, Dubai and World Travel Market, London, leading a delegation of DMCs, inbound tour operators, hoteliers amongst others. India as a 360 degree destination was promoted to the international travel industry through the participation of the Ministry in these exhibitions.
• Ministry of Tourism initiated establishing of ‘YUVA Tourism Clubs’ as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations. The vision of YUVA Tourism Clubs is to nurture and develop young ambassadors of Indian tourism who would become aware of tourism possibilities in India, appreciate our rich cultural heritage and develop an interest and passion for tourism. These young ambassadors would be catalysts for promoting tourism in India. Participation in Tourism Clubs is also expected to facilitate development of soft skills like teamwork, management, leadership besides encouraging adoption of responsible tourism practices and concern for sustainable tourism. Central Board of Secondary Education has come forward to support the initiative of Ministry of Tourism and issued instructions to all CBSE affiliated schools regarding formation of Yuva Tourism Clubs. The Ministry of Tourism has also developed a ‘Handbook for Schools for conduct of Tourism Clubs’. The Handbook reiterates the purposes, operational strategies along with specific guidelines and suggestions for conduct of various activities.
• NIDHI + : The Ministry of Tourism has set up National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry, (or NIDHI), a technology driven system, aligned with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, which is to facilitate digitalization and promote ease of doing business for hospitality & tourism sector. It provides clear picture on the geographical spread of the Hospitality & Tourism Sector, its size, structure and existing capacity so as to offer relevant services to the industry like showcasing, Star Classification etc. NIDHI Portal would help in assessing the facilities available at various destinations, requirements for skilled human resources and to frame policies & strategies for promotion / development of tourism at various destinations. This initiative is being upgraded as NIDHI+ to have more inclusivity, that is, of not only Accommodation Units, but also Travel agents, Tour Operators, Tourist Transport Operators, Food & Beverage Units, Online Travel Aggregators Convention Centres and tourist Facilitators. The new system also envisages a larger role of the State Governments and union Territories apart from our Industry Associations and other stakeholders. The portal may be accessed at https://nidhi.tourism.gov.in. NIDHI+ is being built on a tech-powered platform aligned with the vision of National Digital Tourism Mission, and will allow incremental upgrades in order to achieve a scalable and stable ecosystem.
• Under the Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid Affected Tourism Service Sector (LGSCATSS), working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme will cover 10,700 Regional Level Tourist Guides recognised by Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Guides recognised by the State Governments/ UT Administration; and about 1,000 Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism. TTS’s will be eligible to get guaranteed collateral free loan up to Rs. 10 Lakh each while tourist guides can avail guaranteed collateral free loans up to Rs.1 lakh each. There will be no processing charges, waiver of foreclosure/prepayment charges and no requirement of additional collateral. Scheme to be administered by the Ministry of Tourism through National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).
• For boosting the tourism sector, first 5 lakh Tourists Visa was announced by the Govt. of India for the tourists of Foreign National to visit India, which was applicable till 31.03.2022 or till the 5 lakh free visas are issued, whichever is earlier. The benefit was available only once per tourist.
• Ministry of Tourism has developed new Incredible India brand films for welcoming of foreign tourists to the country after the re-opening of international commercial flights. These brand films have been widely circulated within the domestic travel industry for wider usage in for promotional and marketing purposes.
• Ministry of Tourism organized the National Tourism Award ceremony on 27th September 2022 to achievers in the Indian travel industry. 81 awards were given away this year highlighting the achievements of the industry in 2018-19. The awards were presented by the Hon`ble Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankar.
• Ministry of Tourism has launched the Utsav Portal, a digital initiative launched by the Ministry of Tourism, which aims to showcase festivals, events and live darshans across India to promote different regions of the country as popular tourist destinations worldwide. The objective is to showcase various elements, dates and details of the events and festivals of India on a global platform and increase tourism awareness, attractions, and opportunities by providing tourists with contextual digital experiences in the form of visually appealing photographs and stills from the events. Additionally, the objective is also to let the devotees and travellers experience and view the sights of some of the well-known religious divine shrines in India in the form of Live Darshan.
• Recognising medical value travel and wellness tourism as important sectors having the potential of accelerating the country’s development, Ministry of Tourism has taken several steps to promote India as a Medical and Wellness tourism destination. Towards this objective, Ministry has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism. On similar lines, Ministry has also formulated a National Strategy for Adventure Tourism in order to position India as a preferred destination for adventure tourism globally. The strategic pillars identified in the strategy document for development of adventure tourism includes State assessment, ranking and strategy, Skills, capacity building and certification, Marketing and promotion, Strengthening adventure tourism safety management framework, National and State-level rescue and communication grid, Destination and Product Development and Governance and Institutional Framework.