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Achievements of India’s Ministry of Tourism in 2023

  • January 1, 2024
  • 8 min read

Indian Ministry of Tourism (MoT) successfully organized 4 G20 Tourism Working Group and the Tourism Ministerial Meeting at different venues in the country, viz. Rann of Kutch, Siliguri/Darjeeling, Srinagar and Panaji, Goa.  The G20 Roadmap for Tourism as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development goals, the key deliverable of the tourism working group under India’s G20 Presidency was fully endorsed by all the G20 member countries as well as the invitee countries. It highlights five priorities of Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Destination Management for achieving the SDGs. The Travel for LiFE initiative, based on the Mission LiFE, mentioned in the G20 Roadmap, aims to nudge visitors and tourism businesses to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to the preservation of natural heritage and culture.

The Ministry organized the 11th edition of International Tourism Mart in the NER to showcase the tourism potential of the North Eastern States of India at the domestic and international levels at Shillong, Meghalaya. It was organized from 21st to 23rd November 2023 in association with the State Government of Meghalaya. The Mart brought together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States on a common platform thereby provided an avenue for tourism stakeholders of Meghalaya and other north-eastern States to showcase the uncharted travel destinations in the region. The International Tourism Mart was a Green Event in which low carbon options were adopted on the lines of the action points formulated by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GOI for implementation of Mission LiFE and sensitizing the tourism stakeholders and generating greater awareness about its objectives.

On the occasion of World Tourism Day on 27th September 2023, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India organised the Global Launch of ‘Travel for LiFE’ a program for tourism sector under Mission LiFE, envisaged to create awareness about sustainable tourism and to nudge the tourists and tourism businesses to adopt sustainable practices synchronous with nature. The program aims to encourage large scale behavioural changes and mainstream sustainability into tourism sector towards developing a sustainable, responsible and resilient tourism sector. It calls for a transition from a “use-and-dispose” economy to a circular economy characterized by mindful and deliberate utilization of resources instead of mindless and destructive consumption to preserve the resources of the environment.

The year 2023 was declared to be the Visit India Year 2023 in a bid to position India as a 360-degree holistic destination in the major international source markets. Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the overseas Indian Missions participated in major international travel exhibitions like FITUR, Madrid, Arabian Travel Mart, Dubai, World Travel Market, London, IMEX Frankfurt, Top Resa, Paris, ITB Berlin, OTDYKH, Moscow and ITB Asia Singapore leading a delegation of DMCs, inbound tour operators, hoteliers amongst others to showcase the diversity of Indian tourism products and themes to the global travel trade sector.  India was also the partner country for the JATA Tourism Expo, which was held at Tokyo, in October 2023.

The Ministry unveiled an ambitious campaign aimed at showcasing India as a premier wedding destination on the global stage. The aim of the campaign is to redefine India’s perception beyond the realm of royal, extravagant weddings. Showcasing the beauty and diversity of India as a premier wedding destination on the global stage. By opening the doors to India’s captivating locales, vibrant rituals, rich gastronomy, and world-class infrastructure, the objective of the campaign is to enthrall couples from across the world and entice them to craft their dream celebration in the embrace of India’s charm.

A six – day mega event “Bharat Parv” event was organized by the Ministry at the Red Fort Lawns, New Delhi from 26th to 31st January, 2023, as part of the Republic Day Celebrations. It comprises of cultural performances by the Zonal Cultural Centres as well as cultural troupes from States/ UTs, a pan – India Food Court and a pan – India Crafts Bazaar with 65 handicraft stalls along with showcasing of the best Republic Day parade tableaux. The event which was open to the public attracted huge crowd of visitors on all days. The mega event is built on the theme of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. 

Ministry of Tourism in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan organized the G20 Tourism Expo at Jaipur, Rajasthan from 23rd to 25th April 2023 alongside the 12th edition of ‘Great Indian Tourism Bazaar’ (GITB). The event was organized in line with India’s G20 Presidency coinciding with celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav – Amrit Kaal under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister. Touted to be one of the largest events held in country, the G20 Tourism Expo proved to be a major success, drawing more than 150 tour operators and representatives from not only G20 countries, but also from nations representing distinct cultures.

Krishnaveni Sangeetha Neerajanam at Vijayawada on the banks of River Krishna in from 10 – 12 December, 2023 was organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in association with Ministry of Culture, Sangeet Natak Akademi and State Government of Andhra Pradesh. The three-day cultural extravaganza celebrated the legacy of the rich heritage of Indian classical music by bringing together renowned singers and musicians of the country under one roof. A food and crafts festival showcasing handicrafts, handlooms, cuisine and culture of the vibrant state of Andhra Pradesh. A spectacular display of ancient musical instruments also enthralled the visitors.

Under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme, 46 projects have been sanctioned in 26 States/UTs at the total sanctioned cost of ₹ 1629.15 Cr.  26 New sites have also been identified for development under the PRASHAD Scheme in 17 States/UTs. One project titled “Development of Infrastructure for Pilgrimage and Heritage Tourism in the State of Meghalaya,” encompassing the development of pilgrim amenities at Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church, Nartiang Shakti Peeth, Aitnar Pool, and Charantala Kali Temple, in Meghalaya, was inaugurated at the 11th International Tourism Mart, Shillong 2023.

Ministry of Tourism has revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme in the form of Swadesh Darshan 2.0 with the mission to create a robust framework for integrated development of tourism destinations in partnership with the States/ UTs and Local Governments for promoting sustainable and responsible tourism in the country and has identified 55 destinations across 32 States/UTs for development. The Scheme will implement sustainable and responsible tourism practices in various projects and initiatives and will encourage adoption of principles of sustainable tourism including environmental sustainability, socio-cultural sustainability and economic sustainability. In addition, the Ministry of Tourism has also issued guidelines for ‘Challenge Based Destination Development’, a sub-scheme under Swadesh Darshan 2.0. Under SD 1.0, Ministry has sanctioned ₹ 5294.11 Crore for undertaking 76 projects, out of these 64 projects are reported physically complete.

Ministry is imparting training to local tourism service providers under the project, Implementation of Amrit Dharohar, Strengthening Nature Tourism at Ramsar sites, launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The purpose is to train facilitators/guides/other tourism service providers for strengthening of Nature Tourism at Ramsar sites. Ramsar sites are Wetlands of International Importance, designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as part of the international network of wetlands important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and services. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has sought support from Ministry of Tourism on soft intervention related to skilling, upskilling, knowledge management of the human resources locally. The convergence of the two Ministries aims at supporting the development of Nature Tourism at the Ramsar Sites for preserving and enhancing the local cultural and natural resources. The focus is to shift the high-volume tourism at these fragile wetlands to high-value nature tourism, directly supporting conservation action, local communities and economies.

Ministry of Tourism (MoT) in collaboration with Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched an Alternative Livelihood Programme under the Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme-2023 on 8th December 2023 in Sultanpur National Park, a Ramsar Site in Haryana. Under this initiative, IITTM, an autonomous body under MoT, in collaboration with MoEFCC will build the capacity of local community members around different Ramsar sites in order to strengthen nature tourism at these sites and provide alternative livelihood to the local community. With the help of State Forest Deptt., a total of 30 participants have been identified from the local communities located around Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary to impart this training and subsequently certify them as nature-guides.

Ministry of Tourism has developed new Incredible India thematic brand films for welcoming of foreign tourists to the country which have been specifically curated for the leading overseas markets. These brand films have been widely circulated within the domestic and international travel industry for wider usage in for promotional and marketing purposes.  Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has bagged Golden & Silver Star at the International ‘Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2023’ in ‘TV/Cinema Commercials International and Country International’ Category at ITB, Berlin 2023. The Golden City Gate Tourism Multi-Media Awards are given annually in various categories related to the Tourism and Hospitality sectors. The ‘Golden City Gate’ is a creative multi-media international competition for countries, cities, regions and hotels. The entries received for the awards are judged by an international jury comprising film and tourism experts. The annual award ceremony takes place at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading tourism trade show. The Promotional films / television commercials received the awards were produced by the Ministry as part of its Post Covid Promotional Global Campaign on India reopening.

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