Domestic tourism will help in boosting the economy post COVID-19: Prahlad Singh

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New Delhi (NVI): The pandemic has deeply impacted the travel industry and opening up of domestic tourism will help in boosting the economy post COVID-19, Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, today said.

Addressing the webinar ‘Tourism E-Conclave: Travel & Hospitality: What’s Next?’, organized by FICCI, Patel said, ”The need is to have coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders including the government, state governments, various ministries and industry.”

Patel also said that the travel and hospitality industry is struggling to survive and the government should provide relief to the sector by way of considering reduction in bills and charges for hotels and other such measures.

“There are barriers in opening up of the sector and urged the industry to share its recommendations to overcome them with the tourism and finance ministries and other departments,” he said.

Alluding to the importance of collaboration and synergy among the stakeholders, the tourism minister said that he has been writing to Chief Ministers of various states to jointly work towards saving and reviving the tourism sector.

Furthermore, he has also written to the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to open the tiger reserves with the requisite road infrastructure. 

The minister said that the need is to identify priority areas in the travel and hospitality sector in tandem with state governments for developing various circuits in the country. He added that with COVID-19, we are facing an unprecedented challenge but the industry has maintained a positive stance and is working towards the survival and revival of the tourism sector.

While being present on the occasion, Vishal Kumar DevCommissioner Cum Secretary, Tourism Department and Sports & Youth Services Department, said that COVID-19 has provided us with an opportunity to think about new tourism products and new ways of promoting tourism within the country.

He added, “Domestic tourism will be a priority for us, especially for the next few years. He added that Odisha has finalized the road itinerary between Odisha and major cities of India to give a boost to tourism sector and will start promoting it in September. “

Dilip ChenoySecretary General, FICCI said that tourism is the most affected sector by the pandemic and to boost the local economy, many states across the country have started opening up tourism, which is encouraging. He added that during the two-day conclave policymakers and industry leaders will deliberate on how tourism industry can move forward in the changing environment.