Steps to Boost Tourism

Steps to Boost Tourism

Question - Recently, tourism has become a major source of revenue for nations. Discuss the steps taken by the government of India to boost tourism.

Steps taken by the Tourism ministry to boost tourism sector in India include the following:

• Firstly, a Tourist e-Visa has been launched for citizens from 44 nations

• Incredible India Campaign has begun to promote India as a tourist destination across the globe

• Participation in numerous tourism and travel fairs and exhibitions is yet another step

• The government also organised road shows to promote tourism destinations and products of country in major tourist source markets in partnership with stakeholders

• The tourism ministry has also taken up the development and promotion of niche tourism products

• It has also worked at increasing the pool of trained manpower in tourism and hospitality sectors for providing quality services to tourists

• The tourism ministry has also organised International Buddhist Conclave once in 2 years for showcasing the Buddhist heritage and International Tourism Mart for highlighting the tourism potential of north eastern states

• Ministry of Tourism has also identified close to 50 circuits for developing tourism

• These circuits cover major and relevant tourism places and attractions

• They comprise a judicious mix of:

- Spiritualism
- Culture
- Heritage
- Eco tourism

Some of the circuits proposed by the ministry are:

- Port Blair-Neil Havelock-Little Andaman (Andaman and Nicobar),
- Kashmir Circuit (Jammu and Kashmir),
- Desert circuit (Rajasthan),
- Nature Tourism Circuit (West Bengal),
- Braj-Agra Circuit (Uttar Pradesh),
- Gangtok (Sikkim)

About Swadesh Darshan

• Swadesh Darshan is a plan scheme for integrated development of tourist circuits on specific themes

• The 5 circuits identified under this scheme are

- Buddhist Circuit,
- Himalayan Circuit,
- Coastal Circuit,
- Krishna Circuit and
- North-East Circuit.

• Central Financial Assistance is provided by the Ministry of Tourism to various state and UT governments for tourist projects which involves:

- Availability of funds
- Inter se priority
- Liquidation of pending utilisation
- Certificates against earlier raised funds
- Adherence to scheme guidelines

Facts and Stats

• 2nd Tourism Satellite Account of India 2009-2010 and subsequent estimations indicate contribution of tourism to total GDP was 6.76% in 2011-2012 and 6.88% in 2012-2013

• Under Swadesh Darshan, 136 projects were sanctioned to states and INR 929 crores were sanctioned for projects

• In 2013-2014, the number of projects sanctioned in the states was 261; amount sanctioned was INR 1801 crore

• In 2014-2015, total of 53 projects were sanctioned to states and sum of INR 333 crores were sanctioned for projects

• Each circuit has specific places for being developed as tourist hotspots. For example: Places identified for the Bodh Gaya circuit are Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Vaishali in Bihar and Kapilavastu, Sarnath, Sravasti and Kushinagar in UP
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