The Vice President, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar today described India as “heaven for tourism” and asked the Indians to explore domestic tourist destinations first before looking at international travel. Referring to Bharat’s long civilizational history and rich cultural heritage, he underlined that most of the tourist places in the country have a deep connect with our history, folk arts and ancient texts.
Addressing a gathering after presenting National Tourism Awards for the year 2018-19 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today the Vice President termed tourism a key driver of economic growth and employment generation in the country.
Referring to multiple dimensions to the tourism, the Vice President stressed the need for fully leveraging the India’s immense potential in the field of medical tourism as well as the growing global interest in our ancient practices of healing such as Ayurveda and Yoga.
Appreciating the Government’s efforts for the development of the tourism sector in the country, Shri Dhankhar said that the development of tourism infrastructure has been accompanied with innovative initiatives such as Dekho Apna Desh and Utsav Portal.
Shri Dhankhar praised the Ministries of Tourism and Culture for bringing out the stories of many unsung freedom fighters as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
Noting the importance of National Tourism Awards in motivating the travel and tourism sectors, the Vice President congratulated the award winners for their hard work and excellence. He also congratulated the Ministry of Tourism for celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav iconic week from today. On this occasion, the Vice President also released ‘India Tourism Statistics 2022’ and launched an e-book GoBeyond:75 Experiences of North India.
Shri G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, Shri Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State, Tourism and Culture, Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Shri G. Kamala Vardhan Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism and other dignitaries attended the award ceremony.
Following is the full text of the speech:
“Greetings on World Tourism Day!
Privileged to be here with you all on the occasion of National Tourism Awards for the year 2018-19. An occasion to recognize and honour the efforts of industry stakeholders.
Congratulations to the Ministry of Tourism for celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav iconic week from today.
Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is already imparting wholesome vibes that are inspirational and motivational. These efforts have generated rare and much needed opportunity to connect authentically with our culture.
The National Tourism Awards have over the years emerged as a prestigious recognition of achievements in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. These awards are an important medium to motivate these sectors.
Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors, creating exports and prosperity around the world. Bharat is, as a matter of fact, heaven for tourism.
Tourism in India has tremendous potential as driver of economic growth and employment, considering the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage, varied ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty spread across the country.
The desire to explore, visit and experience exotic and new facets of our surroundings is an innate human quality. Bharat is a natural destination given bountiful gifts of nature.
Those of us who tend to look at international destinations for visiting, need to look at our own domestic destinations first.
Ranging from the snow capped peaks of Himalayas to the sandy beaches of Odisha, from the deserts of Rajasthan to the deltaic regions in Sunderbans, from the tea Gardens of Assam to the Backwaters of Kerala, the range is simply exhilarating and stunning.
India is perhaps the only country when one can undertake a trip for satisfying multiple needs.
Given our long civilizational history and the rich cultural heritage, most places of tourism have a deep connect with our mythological past, folk dance forms and ancient texts.
It is just the matter of time before one gets the visual feast of Cheetah in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, in addition to Tiger in Ranthambore and Lion in Gir forests.
The Government is a taking 360-degree view for the development of tourism sector in the country.
The massive and innovative development of tourism infrastructure has been accompanied with due focus on enhancing rail, road and air connectivity to ensure that the accessibility to tourist destinations is easy from all corners of the country.
The Ministry’s imaginative initiative ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ has been a resounding success in showcasing the diverse culture, heritage, destinations and tourism products of the country.
Employment generation in the tourism sector is one of the key agendas of the Government.
It is heartening to gather the digital initiatives like – the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) – Certification Programme and Utsav Portal to showcase the events, festivals and live darshans across India are being implemented by the Ministry.
In this age of internet connectivity and social media, virtual space also plays an important role in providing wholesome tourist experience.
India has tremendous potential in the field of medical tourism and we need to fully leverage our ancient practices of healing such as Ayurveda and Yoga to attract more tourists who seek holistic wellness. It is already gathering keen interest.
It will be appropriate for all stakeholders in the tourism industry to follow ecologically responsible and sustainable tourism practices.
Tourists too on their part must keep in mind ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and avoid lettering and defacing the historical monuments.
Congratulations to the award winners and to the Ministry of Tourism for hosting such a prestigious event”.