Key National Tourism missions and positioning India as the new Travel Heaven – Hospitality and Tourism services conclave 2022

Services and Export Promotion Council set up by the ministry of commerce and industry in 2006 organized a Hospitality and Tourism Conclave on 9th September 2022 at Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg in New Delhi. The event was graced by Chief Guest Hon’ble Arvind Singh, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

In the present scenario, the services industry is being recognized for the mettle it brings to the Indian economy. One of the largest key sectors assigned to SEPC, Travel and Tourism, is responsible for millions of jobs and a major portion of forex. It is projected that by 2029, the tourism sector will account for about 53 million jobs. International tourists’ arrival is expected to reach 30.5 billion by 2028.

SEPC under the Ministry of Commerce is working around the clock to propound innovative ideas to augment inbound tourism and accelerate engagement with the travel and tourism trade industry. The Hospitality and Tourism Conclave was an effort in this similar vein. The core objective of the event was to organize deliberations amongst shareholders and energize the businesses in all aspects of travel, tourism and hospitality to chalk out an action plan as envisaged in the Draft tourism policy.

Arvind Singh, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India shared his insights, “Travel and Tourism is one of the leading sectors of the country. The tourism policy has been drafted in consultation with the center ministry, state ministries, stake holders etc to draft a proposition that will help in strengthening tourism and the development of sub-sectors as well.

The key pointers are –

– To enhance contribution to tourism by increasing visitation, stay and spend and making India a year around destination.

– Create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector and augment the availability of skilled manpower for the same

– Enhance competitiveness of the tourim sector and remove the compliance burdens, taxation issues etc.

– Preserve and enhance our natural and cultural resources

– E sustainable, responsible, and inclusive development of tourism without overburdening the local communities

– Acceleration of Digitalization, innovation and technological advancements.

– Follow a collaborative approach between various stakeholders and ministries and follow, Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat

Infrastructure development, connectivity, brand building and taxation and visa policies will also be looked into to increase engagement and reach the 1 trillion-dollar economy goal.”

Sunil H Talati, Chairman, SEPC shared, “The conclave was the coming together of various experts and stakeholders from the industry to add gravitas to the proposed events like ATITHI and strengthen the Travel and Tourism sector in India. It touched upon points for the growth prospects and challenges and the need for a framework to put India on the Global Travel Map.”

Karan Rathore, Vice Chairman, SEPC shared, “The hospitality sector is a sunrise industry with immense potential for growth. It accounts for approximately 50 million jobs in the country and direct foreign investments. Hospitality has been the essence of India. The need of the hour is to position India as a holistic travel and wellness destination and help the torist traffic reach the projected 13.34 million in 2024.”

Dr Abhay Sinha, DG, SEPC shared, “Amongst all the sectors under SEPC, Travel and Tourism is one of the largest and key sectors. Today, India is the 12th largest country in the world when it comes to international tourism. Therefore, as a sector that contributes to more than 31.8 million jobs, it is of paramount importance to understand how the businesses in that sector are performing, what is their support eco-system and what we can do to augment this reach. The mission is to understand what it would take from the council, the stakeholders, and the ministry to go beyond the growth trajectory of the last decade. The strategy should be about charting the course for this sector for the next 25 years when India will complete 100 years of independence. With perceptual change positioning India as a year-round destination, favourable travel policies and aids, infrastructure development, there needs to be a blueprint in place.”

The conclave was an opportunity to bring together stakeholders and representatives for deliberations in the context of energizing the business in all aspects of travel, tourism and hospitality and chalk out an action plan for this sector.

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