India must gear up for more domestic travellers

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G Kamala Vardhan Rao, director general, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India has focussed on the need to develop and showcase newer tourist destinations to attract more travellers from both domestic and international countries. “We should collectively work to ensure that new destinations come up with basic infrastructure,” he added.

 Addressing the ‘7th National Tourism Investors Meet 2022’, organised by FICCI, Rao invited the investors to invest in the tourism sector. “India is going to host the G-20 meetings next year and it will be organized across various states and cities. The states are also investing heavily to build infrastructure. I urge investors to come forward and invest in the hospitality sector,” he stated.

Speaking on the investment potential in tourism sector, Rao stated that tourism is the beneficiary of all the investments of various ministries and departments including national highways, rural development ministry, civil aviation, railways, etc. “Whichever department is investing in the infrastructure and services sector, it is tourism which is the beneficiary,” he stated.

Highlighting on enhancing the connectivity in various tourist destinations, he said that each year the government is taking various steps to improve the rail and air connectivity but air connectivity in the north-eastern sector still needs to be enhanced.

Speaking on the importance of souvenir industry, depicting India’s art, culture and other aspects, Rao stated that the industry should also focus on developing a niche in this sector which has a lot of potential. “The government can only facilitate the souvenir industry, but it is the private sector which has to take this up in a big way. It can become a major investment area as well,” he added.

Rao also stated that post pandemic, MICE tourism is growing at a much faster pace and with the increase in number of convention centers opening in India, investors should seize the opportunity in MICE tourism.

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