National Conference of State Tourism Ministers – July 21st, 2014

Ram Naik
Ram Naik

Union Tourism and Culture Minister Shri Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated and presiding the session,  with Finance and Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley as the Chief Guest. Organized as part of the 100 days action plan of the Government, the objective was to identify important issues faced by India’s Tourism Industry. 18 State Tourism Ministers including Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma and Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Lt. General Ajay Kumar Singh attended the conference. The remaining 16 States / Union Territories were represented by their senior officials. Key take away from the session are:

  1. Tourism is central to GOIs plans and programmes.
  2. Safety Security and cleanliness – Women safety,  a top priority. Ministry of Tourism, GoI, formulating  guidelines for the State Governments and UT on the ‘Safety and Security’ of tourists.  Will building IT capability to ensure safety of tourists in India.
  3. 24×7 Tourist Contact centre – To provide info. about India, travelling within India and Indian systems in 12 languages Hindi, English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
  4. Hotel Approval & Classification guidelines simplified, presentation of the “Trade Licence” enough for Classifying Hotels in the form of Star Ratings.  Further States and UTs to bring greater efficiency in public service delivery system for faster grant of licenses & NoCs for hotels and other tourism facilities.
  5. Focus on niche tourism – To beat seasonality, medical & wellness, MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions), agro based and plantation tourism, cruise tourism and adventure tourism will be promoted.  Popularise Bed & Breakfast scheme to augment budget accommodation in the country.
  6. Responsible, sustainable and inclusive development of Tourism destinations – increase involvement of local communities at District and Panchayat levels to bring benefits of the trade to the poor
  7. Electronic travel authorisation soon to increase tourist’s access to India. E-visa facility will be rolled out by October at nine airports in the country and will be open to all countries in the world except 10.
  8. To set-up University of Hospitality to upgrade tourism education to world levels in line with IIMs and IITs.
  9. Lausanne Hospitality Consultancy (LHC), a subsidiary of Switzerland-based École hôtelière de Lausanne to advice National Council of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (NCHMCT) in upgrading the curriculum across IHMs, training of faculty, improvements in education infrastructure. NCHMCT, is an autonomous regulatory body under Ministry of Tourism (MoT), GoI, it manages IHMs and Food Craft Institutes in India.
  10. Laying of foundation of the Indian Culinary Institute at Tirupati to train specialists, specific to Indian cuisine.  Similar branches will come up in northern, central, eastern and western regions of the country.
  11. Skill set development programmes like  Hunar Se Rozgar Tak to meet industry’s requirements. Further, identifying and developing skills specific to monuments, historical places, archaeological sites, niche products, tourist destinations and circuits to bring greater earning opportunities for local communities.
  12. Enhance service quality and standards by encouraging existing stakeholders to obtain certifications run by the Ministry of Tourism.

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