To tap the potential of Buddhist tourism in India, the Ministry of Tourism organised a conference on “Tourism in Buddhist Circuits – A way forward” on October 20 in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh on the onset of international airport launch in the city. On the occasion, the Ministry invited the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who amongst the presence of Union Tourism Minister, G Kishan Reddy and his other cabinet colleagues said that tour operators are revolutionary pillars of the tourism industry.
Addressing a gathering of travel trade stakeholders, the minister said that both tourism and aviation sectors play a very crucial role in economic growth and employment generation in the country. “Economic multiplier is 3.25x and the employment multiplier is 6.1x in the Indian civil aviation industry, whereas economic multiplier is 4.5x and employment multiplier (direct & indirect both) is 8x in the Indian tourism industry. This indicates that both sectors can play a pivotal role in making India the soft-power leader in the world,” he said.
He further requested the travel trade fraternity to do value addition to their services and not just stick to ticket bookings. “The more value addition you can do, the more you can earn. Make consolidated packages of all the travel needs of travellers including hotel bookings, sightseeing, excursions, local transport, and other necessary services. Today’s travellers prefer booking from a provider which can provide a one-stop solution for all their travel needs. Value-Added Services will be very crucial for the business of industries. We need to move forward taking each and everyone together to build a stronger and better ecosystem,” he stated.In his inaugural address, the tourism minister termed the launch of the international airport in Kushinagar a historic moment for the tourism sector.
“Tourism sector has been worst affected due to Covid-19 pandemic, not only in India but all over the world. There is a huge responsibility on the Ministry and the tourism industry stakeholders to revive the tourism sector in the country. The government has taken a lot of positive steps in this direction to help the industry including the move to grant the first 5 lakh visas free of cost. Currently, the country doesn’t have a comprehensive tourism policy nor does the tourism sector feature on the central, state, or concurrent list, so our Prime Minister has requested us to make a good tourism policy and develop iconic tourist destinations. So, accordingly, we are identifying such destinations. I am very much hopeful that India will emerge as a strong tourism destination in the global market very soon. We just need cooperation from the industry, and we are ready to help the travel trade in all ways possible,” he said.
He further added that with the largest vaccination drive underway in India, domestic tourism too will regain momentum and boost the tourism sector.