STRATEGY TO PROMOTE TOURISM

  • The Ministry of Tourism has formulated three draft strategies with roadmaps for promoting Medical and Wellness Tourism, for development of Rural Tourism and for promotion of MICE Industry in India.
  • India has been ranked 34th out of 140 countries on the World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Important points:

Describes the rapidly growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain healthcare services.

  • It may be broadly classified into three categories – Medical Treatment, Wellness & Rejuvenation and Alternative Cures. Now it is often referred to as Medical Value Travel (MVT).
  • Top of the line medical and diagnostic equipment from global international conglomerates are available.
  • Reputed Healthcare Professionals: Reputation for high-quality medical training and also fluent in English to converse with foreigners.
  • Financial Savings: The cost of quality of medical procedures and services are low in India.
  • Alternative Cures: India has a unique advantage of offering Yoga, Ayurveda & Naturopathy for treatment.
  • “Heal in India” Brand for promoting India as a MVT destination.
  • Capacity building of MVT facilitator, enterprises and staff.
  • Setting up of an online MVT Portal to provide one stop solution to facilitate international patients.
  • Convergence of Wellness, Hospitality and Travel businesses.
  • Any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture, and heritage at rural locations, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially.
  • It offers an opportunity to promote sustainable and responsible tourism and fulfill the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Indian villages have unparalleled culture, craft, music, dance and heritage to offer to the visitors.
  • Well-developed agriculture and farms to provide stay facilities and experiences.
  • Beautiful climate conditions and Biodiversity.
  • India has coastal, Himalayan, desert, forest and tribal areas amongst others for tourists.
  • State Assessment and Ranking as a tool for Capacity Building (including that of Panchayati Raj Institutions).
  • Enabling Digital Technologies for Rural Tourism like enabling broadband internet infrastructure to rural areas having tourism potential.
  • Developing clusters for rural tourism.

MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions):

  • The main purpose is to create a networking platform for business, industry, government and Academic Community and engage in meaningful conversations.
  • MICE is also known as ‘Meetings industry’ or ‘Events industry’.
  • Core MICE infrastructure amenities are at par with most developed countries.
  • India has consistently improved its rank in World Bank Ease of Doing Business and WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Rank.
  • Growing Economic Strength of India.
  • India has progressed rapidly in the areas like Information Technology, and Scientific Research.
  • “Meet in India” Brand for promoting MICE Industry.
  • Providing Infrastructure status for financing of MICE infrastructure.
  • Skill development for the MICE industry.

Significance

  • Not only does the tourism sector provide high-quality jobs, it also enhances investment in India, accelerates development.
  • A large number of businesses engaged in the service sector such as airlines, hotels, surface transportation, etc. grows with the growth of the tourism industry.
  • Preservation of National Heritage and Environment and Renewal of Cultural Pride.
  • Tourism helps in promoting cultural diplomacy, people to people connect and thereby promotes friendship and cooperation between India and other countries.
  • Boost to Other Forms of Tourism: India has huge potential for related areas such as Eco-tourism, Nature Reserves, Wildlife tourism, Himalayan tourism. India has 38 world heritage sites that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.
  • Deficiencies in infrastructure and inadequate connectivity hamper tourist visits to some sites.
  • Although it has been increasing, online marketing/branding remains limited and campaigns are not coordinated.
  • Tourist information centers are poorly managed, making it difficult for domestic and foreign tourists to access information with ease.
  • A limited number of multilingual trained guides, and the limited local awareness and understanding of the benefits and responsibilities associated with tourist growth.

Way Forward

  • ‘One India One Tourism’ Approach: Tourism encompasses multiple ministries and takes place in and within many states and thus requires collective efforts and cooperation with centre and other states.
  • Promoting Ease of Tourism: To truly ensure a seamless tourist transportation experience we need to standardize all interstate road taxes and make them payable at a single point which will facilitate the ease of doing business.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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