As a part of its ongoing G20 Think Tank Workshop Series, NITI Aayog organized a workshop on “Implementing Goa Roadmap for Tourism” on November 04, 2023, with India Foundation and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, as its knowledge partners.
The G20 meeting on tourism was held in Goa on June 21, 2023, culminating in the Goa Declaration. The Goa Roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a pioneering effort towards harnessing tourism as a driving force to achieve the SDGs. The G20 New Delhi Leader’s Declaration (NDLD) noted the Goa Roadmap for Tourism and ‘Travel for LiFE’ program as the policy blueprints for nurturing tourism as a means for sustainable socio-economic development.
The workshop aimed at deliberating on the implementation of the Goa Roadmap, and the discussions were conducted over four thematic sessions. In the plenary session, Ms. V. Vidyavathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, delivered the thematic address. Shri Suman Bery, Hon’ble Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, presided over the workshop as the Chief Guest and delivered brief remarks, setting the backdrop for the day-long discussions. He emphasized on the need for developing the tourism sector along the lines of gender led development and reinforcing Nari Shakti. He also highlighted that dispersion of tourism and its management are contemporary challenges to be dealt with, and an act of co-creation between the private and public sector could provide practical solutions.
The thematic sessions witnessed discussions over the following themes – “Green tourism: Greening the tourism sector for a sustainable, responsible, and resilient tourism sector”, “Tourism micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs): Nurturing tourism MSMEs, startups, and the private sector to unleash innovation and dynamism in the tourism sector”, “Digitalization: Harnessing the power of digitalization to promote competitiveness, inclusion, and sustainability in the tourism sector” and “Strategic management of tourist destinations with focus on Heritage and Religious tourism”.
Leading voices from over twenty government bodies and private institutions of the likes of Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Trade Promotion Council of India, Confederation of Indian Industry, National Council of Applied Economic Research, Indian Hotels Company Limited, Indian Venture & Alternate Capital Association, Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Small Industries Development Bank of India, United Service Institution of India, Jamia Millia Islamia University, MakeMyTrip, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, Federation of Association in Indian Tourism & Hospitality, Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, National Maritime Heritage Complex, and more participated with valuable insights to make this a rich conversation.
The discussions touched upon various issues, opportunities and challenges posed before a sustainable development of the tourism sector. It was observed that local tourism is a major source of both income and cultural upliftment. The panelists also stated that local tourism would add on to developing the idea of sustainable tourism circuits, ensuring support to the local economy as well as guaranteeing environmental conservation. There was an emphasis on the need to balance a boom in visitor capacity of tourist destinations against our commitment to environment protection, green tourism and sustainability.
The workshop identified critical issues and action points that have emerged from the Goa Roadmap. It shed light on new challenges and opportunities, such as the digital revolution or the need for greater environmental stewardship, and the urgency with which they need to be addressed. The workshop concluded with the commitment to carry the spirit of Goa Roadmap ahead – a spirit of collective action and shared responsibility for a tourism sector that can sustainably support our planet and its people.
The workshop will produce an outcome document that discusses the way forward for implementing Goa Roadmap for Tourism in India’s context.