Pitching India as a signature destination
About The Dharamshala Declaration:
- The Dharamshala Declaration’ aims to recognise India’s role in contributing towards global tourism as well as focusing on recovery by also promoting domestic tourism.
- In the declaration, the Tourism Ministry has come up with a strategy and action plan to encourage more Indians to travel domestically and explore India’s natural, cultural, and spiritual beauty while simultaneously reaching the goal of an ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ (interaction and mutual understanding).
The need to focus on tourism:
- Tourism has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and have yet to recover.
- From Gautama to Gandhi, India has always spoken about the inherent need to live harmoniously with nature and within our means.
- India can use its presidency of the G20 can promote itself as a major tourism destination.
- India’s age-old dictum of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ shows the country’s deep-rooted history of accepting outsiders with a smile.
- By mid-2024, India is expected to be at pre-pandemic levels, with India achieving $150 billion as GDP contribution from tourism and $30 billion in foreign exchange earnings with 15 million foreign tourist arrivals.
What has been done:
- The Government of India has increased the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by ₹50,000 crore, from ₹4.5 lakh crore to ₹5 lakh crore to benefit enterprises in hospitality and related sectors such as hotels and restaurants, marriage halls, travel agents, tour operators, adventure, and heritage facilities.
The New Tourism policy:
- The Ministry of Tourism has prepared a draft National Tourism Policy 2022, which aims at improving the framework conditions for tourism development in the country, supporting tourism industries, strengthening tourism support functions and developing tourism sub-sectors.
- The guiding principles include promoting sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism in line with our civilisational ethos.
- The National Tourism policy also aims to give impetus to digitalisation, innovation and technology through the National Digital Tourism Mission and skilling through the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Mission.
- Cities are being finalised based on a set of transparent criteria such as conference infrastructure, accommodation availability, rankings in Swachh Bharat and other parameters.
- India is expecting the policy framework to bring in $250 billion in GDP contribution from tourism, 140 million jobs in the tourism sector and $56 billion in foreign exchange earnings with more than 25 million foreign arrivals.