Govt frames draft policy for rural tourism, invites suggestions from stakeholders

By: |
July 20, 2021 6:01 PM

Driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vocal for local” mantra, the government hopes the new roadmap can significantly contribute to its Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission.

Tourism ministry, CovidThe ministry has also come up with several initiatives to boost domestic tourism following the devastation the sector has faced in the aftermath of Covid-19. (Photo: jharkhandtourism.gov.in)

The Union Tourism Ministry has prepared a draft roadmap to develop rural tourism in India and has invited suggestions from various stakeholders, including all state governments and administrations of Union Territories. The Draft National Strategy and Roadmap for Development of Rural Tourism in India recognises the huge potential that rural tourism in the country holds. Driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vocal for local” mantra, the government hopes the new roadmap can significantly contribute to its Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission.

The draft strategy has laid emphasis on a few key aspects of tourism such as model policies and best practices, digital technologies and platforms, developing clusters, marketing support, building capacity of stakeholders, governance and institutional framework.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha on Monday, Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy said recognising rural tourism’s potential, the ministry had identified the rural circuit as a thematic circuit for development under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The scheme aims to leverage tourism as a force multiplier to revitalise the rural economy. It also aims to provide tourists — both domestic and international — a glimpse of the country’s rural aspects.

The ministry has also come up with several initiatives to boost domestic tourism following the devastation the sector has faced in the aftermath of Covid-19. The ministry will organise Dekho Apna Desh webinars through which it hopes to rebuild trust of travellers following Covid-19. It will also conduct aerial photography of the country’s cultural assets and key cities during lockdown and promote tourism in India through campaigns across digital platforms.

The ministry will also hold regular consultations with industry stakeholders on reopening the sector and also handle tourists, the safety and security protocols as well as services standards.

The tourism sector was among the worst hit by Covid-19 as lockdowns forced people to stay home. Even after lockdowns have been lifted, concern over safety and sanitation continue to hold travellers back from hitting the roads.

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