Report on the Draft National Tourism Policy
Recently the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has submitted its report on the draft National Tourism Policy.
Main points of the report
- The committee has said that for the development of tourism sector in the country, mere preparation of draft National Tourism Policy is not enough.
- In many projects sanctioned before 2017-18, the progress rate has been less than expected.
- The Committee sought to know from the Government the action taken for setting up the Tourism Council after inter-ministerial consultations and observed that ‘vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare’.
- Has the Ministry of Tourism taken any steps regarding its earlier recommendation to include tourism in the Concurrent List?
- Why have some 20 states not yet given industry status to hospitality projects, and whether anything has been communicated by these states to the central government in this regard.
- So far only eight states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand – have given industry status to hospitality projects in their areas.
- Projects taking more than five years due to high cost and not being completed on time are putting additional financial burden on the Ministry and implementing agencies and facing resource crunch.
Major recommendations of the committee
- It suggested expeditious action on setting up a National Tourism Council on the lines of the GST Council which would make recommendations directly to the central and state governments.
- The inclusion of tourism in the Concurrent List will help address the problems faced by the Indian tourism sector affected by the COVID pandemic as tourism encompasses a range of activities.
Benefits of giving industry status to tourism
- If tourism is given the status of industry, then hotels, lodges, resorts and other tourism infrastructure will be eligible for electricity and water supply at industrial rates, which will promote this industry because their industrial rates are lower than commercial rates.
- The concessions given to industries will also be applicable to tourism related entities, which will help them to maximize their profits.
- Giving industry status to the tourism sector will increase private investment as industry status provides incentives, subsidies, compensation etc. to investors as per industry policy and ultimately these investments will create new employment opportunities.
Objective of National Tourism Policy 2022
- The objective of the National Tourism Policy 2022 is to rejuvenate the tourist destinations of India by providing world class tourism experience at these places.
- Also, India can be made one of the foremost destinations in the world for sustainable and responsible tourism.
Tourism sector in India
- According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, India ranks sixth in the world in terms of travel and tourism contribution to GDP.
- The tourism sector accounts for 8.1% of India’s total employment.
Source – The Hindu