New Delhi, May 5: Minister for Tourism and Culture Patel said that tourism has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with unprecedented impact on jobs, businesses, communities and the wider economy. He appreciated and supported the focus of the Italian G20 Presidency on recovery and ensuring new opportunities for People, Planet and Prosperity by putting in place Guidelines on the seven key interrelated policy areas: Safe mobility, Crisis management, Resilience, Inclusiveness, Green transformation, Digital transition and Investment and infrastructure which are comprehensive and relevant for resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism framed with the support of the OECD.
He also conveyed India’s support for the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by UNWTO as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.
Minister for Tourism & Culture, Shri Patel also highlighted the initiatives taken by Ministry of Tourism to promote community-based tourism and rural tourism by involving local population in the employment opportunities and income generating activities through sustainable and responsible tourism. Post COVID, the Ministry’s focus would be on promoting off-beat destinations and places such as nature and eco-tourism, wildlife, wellness retreats, mountaineering and trekking among others. Besides, India has a strong and vibrant system of traditional medicines, which provide for holistic healing. India would like to offer to the world, post COVID-19, calm, peace and health through Yoga, Ayurveda and other forms of traditional treatments and spiritual surroundings. The Minister expressed optimism that the tourism sector would fully recover from the impact of COVID 19 disruption and the sector will emerge stronger post COVID with the roll out of vaccination programs across the countries.