The tourism sector of India which was seeking help from the Government of India, in wake of the devastating impact on the sector. The Government finally announced a slew of measures to boost the tourism sector in India in its Union budget for 2023-24. Laying the foundation for a strong tourism ecosystem. According to the Ministry of Finance, the government recognised tourism as one of the leading job generating sectors and said that , “There is a large potential to be tapped in tourism. The sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth in particular. Promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode, with active participation of states, convergence of government programmes and public-private partnerships.”
Tourism as an engine of Growth for an Atamnirbhar Bharat
The Union Budget 2023-24 stated that with a focus on domestic as well as foreign tourists, the country aims to develop at least 50 tourist destinations through a challenge mode approach. The destinations will be selected based on aspects such as physical connectivity, virtual connectivity, tourist guides, food streets and tourist security, which will be made available digitally for tourists to enhance their experience.
Furthermore, the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative, launched by the Prime Minister, appeals to the middle class to prefer domestic tourism over international tourism. The initiative will be integrated with sector-specific skilling and entrepreneurship development to achieve its objectives. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme, aimed at developing theme-based tourist circuits, has also been launched. The Vibrant Villages Programme will also facilitate tourism infrastructure and amenities in the border villages of the country. All the schemes are in line with the goal of developing destinations as complete travel packages complete with shopping, sightseeing, spiritual as well as adventure experiences.
Laying the foundation for India as a Global tourist destination
Soon you will be able to enjoy the Unity Malls across India, which will serve as promotion and sales centers for their own ODOPs (one district, one product), GI products, and regional handicraft products. These Unity Malls will also provide space for products from other states. This will not only boost the tourism industry but also provide a platform for local artisans and farmers to showcase their products to a wider audience. Moreover, providing tourists an integrated platform to learn more about a region while indulging in a sustainable shopping experience.
In conclusion, the Indian government’s efforts to boost the tourism industry, by making it more accessible, secure and enjoyable for tourists, will not only provide a much-needed boost to the economy but also promote local businesses and artisans. The focus on domestic tourism, skilling and entrepreneurship development, and the creation of Unity Malls, are all steps in the right direction to make India self-reliant and an attractive destination for tourists.