Besides discussing the ideas aiding India in maximising its potential in the tourism sector, the Inaugural session of the 2nd Tourism Working Group Meeting under G20 hosted by the Ministry of Tourism at Siliguri, West Bengal also discussed adventure tourism in an elaborate manner.
Informing that the Government of India is working on various niche products, Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and DoNER G Kishan Reddy expressed his confidence that a meaningful framework for realising the potential of adventure tourism will be devised.
He announced that India holds great potential to become a global marketplace for adventure activities and sports. The minister said that the National Adventure Tourism strategy has been framed and the aim is to place India among the top adventure tourism destinations of the world by developing infrastructure and setting up high safety standards.
The minister said that National Adventure Tourism strategy has also been framed which focuses on initiatives like State Ranking Criteria for the Adventure Tourism sites, Model Adventure Tourism Law, development of Mega Trails, development of Adventure Activity Guidelines, Adventure Tourism Rescue Centres and development of dedicated Website and social media pages for Adventure Tourism.
He said that by the very nature of adventure tourism locations, this niche product will benefit India’s tribal communities, disadvantaged communities women and youth by providing jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.
In a side event yesterday, on “Tourism in Mission Mode:Advantage Adventure Tourism” presentations by the participants highlighted the benefits, issues and challenges in the promotion of adventure tourism. Ideas were discussed with respect to making India a globally competitive Adventure Tourism hub.
The model law on Adventure safety and the way of developing vibrant villages as adventure destinations were also discussed.
Reddy said that the presentations were informative, engaging and thought- provoking. He informed that the ideas mentioned in here have further enriched understanding of Adventure Tourism.
Reddy, while welcoming all the participants to the town of Siliguri, said that it possesses a rare combination of diversity, culture, tradition and beauty. Known as The Gateway to the Northeast, the minister said that the place provides amazing travel experiences such as Spirituality in the various Monasteries and Temples, Wildlife and natural beauty in the National Parks, adventure in the form of camping and rafting .
The minister also announced that on the backdrop of “Visit India Year 2023” and various other initiatives in the offing like the National Tourism Policy, National Tourism Board and more, the vision is to make India a one trillion dollar tourism economy by 2047.
The Union Minister said that the aim is to make India a seamless , modern, and smart tourism destination while underscoring the need for digitalisation of the Tourism Industry which also is a priority of the Tourism Working Group.
The minister of State, John Barla said that West Bengal aims to become a preferred tourism and tourism-related investment destination by leveraging its unique geographical setting along with its various tourism-related assets.
“It is developing the necessary infrastructure and promoting tourism in an integrated manner which will not only bring in more investment and further the socio-economic goals of the Government of India, but also ensure that all these are in conformity with the relevant acts, rules and regulations relating to environmental protection. The overall aim is to see that the tourism sector contributes towards improving the quality of life of people in general,” he added.
The 2nd Tourism Working Group Meeting at Siliguri is being attended by more than 130 participants.
The Ministry of Tourism has made all out efforts to introduce all the Delegates to local art and craft at Siliguri and Darjeeling. MSME and tourism Department of West Bengal organised art and craft stalls and ‘Do-It-Yourself’ activities to provide an immersive experience of local arts for Delegates.