Post-Covid, in order to motivate and boost the morale of the tourism industry in the country, including the North East Region (NER) and to encourage citizens to resume travelling within the country.
An information was given by Minister of Development of North Eastern Region Shri G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
Ministry of Tourism took the following steps:-
- The Ministry of Tourism organised webinars, quiz, pledges, discussions, road shows and events under the “Dekho Apna Desh” campaign to promote different tourist destinations and tangible and intangible tourism products of India including those from the NER.The initiatives were extensively promoted on social media accounts and website of the Ministry of Tourism.
- An initiative called SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for Hospitality Industry) has been developed for effective implementation of Guidelines/Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued with reference to Covid-19 and beyond for safe operation of hotels, restaurants etc.
- With an aim to incentivize stakeholders in the tourism industry, the guidelines for the scheme of Market Development Assistance (MDA) for providing financial support to stakeholders for the promotion of domestic tourism have been modified to enhance the scope and reach of the scheme, so as to provide maximum benefits to the stakeholders.
- The guidelines of the MDA under the Overseas Promotion and Publicity scheme has been modified to enhance the scope and reach of the scheme, so as to provide maximum benefits to the stakeholders in the tourism industry.
- Validity of approval or certification of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approval/re-approval and classification/re-classification had expired/were likely to expire were extended up to 31stMarch 2022.
- Financial support is being provided under the Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid Affected Tourism Service Sector (LGSCATSS) to regional level tourist guides recognised by the Ministry of Tourism and tourist guides recognised by the State Governments/ Union Territories Administrations and Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism. TTSs are eligible to get a loan of upto Rs.10 Lakh each while tourist guides can avail a loan of upto Rs.1 Lakh each. There is no processing charges, waiver of foreclosure/prepayment charges and no requirement of additional collateral.
- The Ministry of Tourism also conducted various study tours for students from all over the country including the NER to promote tourism products among the youth. Two major tourism promotional events were organized to revive tourism in NER post-Covid namely; Tourism & Culture Ministers meeting for NER under chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Culture & DONER (13th-14th September, 2021) at Guwahati and; International Tourism Mart – Nagaland, Kohima (27th– 29th November, 2021).
In addition to the above, other agencies/Ministries of Government of India have declared stimulus packages like loan moratorium, waived off provident fund contribution, deferment of Tax Collected at Source (TCS), collateral free automation loan under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package etc. to revive the economy including the tourism and hospitality industry.
During the financial year 2020-21 to 2021-22, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region sanctioned 28 projects worth Rs.1023.28 crore under North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) and 23 projects worth Rs.97.09 crore under schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC) for the overall development of tourism sector in NER.