On the occasion of the World Tourism Day, the country plans to introduce a comprehensive National Tourism Policy by the end of December. The government is learned to have held discussions with all stakeholders concerned, including tour operators, state and financial institutions in this regard.
The government is also collecting input from foreign tour operators and aims to focus on future-ready tourism. Under the proposed National Tourism Policy, the government plans to encourage health and spiritual tourism with a special focus on infrastructure. Under this policy, new locations are given more emphasis.
The tourism ministry has sanctioned Rs 7000 crores for the development of tourism infrastructure throughout the country. As many as 76 projects have been sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 30 States and UTs for building tourist infrastructure across various themes.
Air connectivity will also be further strengthened as the government aims to increase the number of airports from existing 140 to 220 by 2025.
The financial assistance to the tourism sector, which is the biggest sufferer due to Covid-19, continues to be extended up to March 31, 2023.
The PRASHAD Scheme aims to strengthen the tourist facilities around spiritual locations, under which 39 projects have been sanctioned in 24 States. The infrastructure development at these tourists, pilgrimage and heritage destinations/cities focuses on cleanliness, security, universal accessibility, service delivery, skill development and livelihood of local communities.
The tourism ministry had also recently launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0 with the objective to develop sustainable and responsible destinations following a tourist and destination-centric approach.
The government has also announced a Rs 4.5 lakh crore scheme for the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. To promote domestic and international tourism, the government will be starting the Ram temple circuit, the Buddhist circuit, the Himalayan circuit, and the BR Ambedkar tourist circuit.
Special trains would take tourists to famous temples, heritage, and religious places. The government will seek private investment in heritage, adventure, and culture tourism, Reddy further added.
The National Conference of State Tourism Ministers also aims to build a common vision for tourism and its growth as we move towards India 2047. The upcoming 25 years being the Amrit Kaal, the aim of the Conference is to begin a common conversation between the State and Central Governments for setting the vision for tourism in India in the year 2047.