Gujarat Tourism: From Vocal for Local to sustainable tourism, key focus areas of Gujarat’s new tourism policy

The policy, which came into force on January 1 this year, will remain functional till December 31, 2025.

gujarat tourism new policy 2021-25
Gujarat also hopes to maximise benefits by following “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and “Vocal for Local”.

Gujarat Tourism: Gujarat announces new tourism policy! India has been a popular country for tourism purposes, with it being ranked 23rd in terms of world tourist arrivals. Moreover, in terms of contribution to GDP, India is the 10th largest tourism economy in the world. However, within India itself, there are several states which collectively make it a desired destination. One of the key states in tourism is Gujarat, which has aggressively promoted its tourism for a long time, and apart from natural features, has also worked on enhancing tourism destinations in the state. Now, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani has released the new tourism policy for the state for the period between 2021 and 2025.

Gujarat new tourism policy 2021: Aim

The vision of the new policy is to develop it in a responsible, inclusive and sustainable manner and making it the foremost destination for tourism in India. To achieve this, it hopes to augment the footfall of tourists by providing much better facilities and enhancing the tourist experience, while also developing livelihood opportunities. Moreover, it hopes to play on the inherent strength of Gujarat and promote regional development in a balanced manner and diversifying the tourism offerings. Apart from this, the state also hopes to enable an ecosystem for stakeholders in tourism, especially investors.

Among quantifiable objectives, the state hopes to double the employment in the sector, and increase the contribution of the sector towards state GDP to 5%-7%. Moreover, the state hopes to ensure that a minimum of 50% of the new tourism projects and 30% of the existing ones comply with the standards of sustainability. Additionally, Gujarat also hopes to maximise benefits by following “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and “Vocal for Local” calls of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gujarat Tourism Policy 2021-25: Strategies and incentives

The policy stated that the tourism sector accounts for 8% of the world carbon emission, with the carbon footprint of the tourism sector in India being the fourth largest globally. Therefore, one of the strategies that Gujarat is hoping to follow is to undertake sustainable tourism.

As per the new policy, Gujarat will encourage as well as incentivise the adoption of e-vehicles for the purpose of service in the tourism sector aided by the establishment of charging centres for e-vehicles, while also incentivising projects that receive recognised certification for sustainability.

The state would also focus on following a tourist-centric approach, so that tourists can feel safe and comfortable. For this, it would aim to improve the tourist-host relationship and also establish digital payment interventions at registered hotels and resorts to provide a hassle-free experience. The tourists who would make use of this facility would get a discount of up to Rs 20,000, the policy has stated.

Encouraging the vision of “Vocal for Local”, the state would follow an integrated approach to increase the visibility of products made in India that are unique and less explored and demonstrate the art and culture of Gujarat.

Apart from that, the state would be placing a major focus on the augmentation of the tourist infrastructure, including encouraging the development of facilities and services for tourists reception, while also granting additional financial aid for developing infrastructure at the High Priority Tourism Centres that the state has identified. Moreover, the infrastructure installed in the vicinity of major tourist destinations would also be upgraded or developed, and standard hygiene and sanitation facilities would be installed on the highways that connect to major tourist attractions.

The policy, which came into force on January 1 this year, will remain functional till December 31, 2025.

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