New Delhi: Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar presented the National Tourism Awards to awardees today at the programme organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to mark the World Tourism Day, 2022. Union Minister of Tourism Shri G. Kishan Reddy and MoS Tourism Shri Ajay Bhatt also graced the ceremony. Secretary Tourism Shri Arvind Singh and other senior officers of the Ministry were also present on this occasion. A total of 81 awards were given away this year highlighting the achievements of the industry in 2018-19. Vice President also released India Tourism Statistics 2022, New Incredible India Global Promotional Films, and “GoBeyond:75 Experiences of North India” e-book on this occasion.
During his keynote address Vice President Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar described India as “heaven for tourism” and asked the Indians to explore domestic tourist destinations first before looking at international travel. Referring to Bharat’s long civilizational history and rich cultural heritage, he underlined that most of the tourist places in the country have a deep connect with our history, folk arts and ancient texts.
Vice President termed tourism a key driver of economic growth and employment generation in the country. Referring to multiple dimensions to the tourism, the Vice President stressed the need for fully leveraging the India’s immense potential in the field of medical tourism as well as the growing global interest in our ancient practices of healing such as Ayurveda and Yoga.
Appreciating the Government’s efforts for the development of the tourism sector in the country, Shri Dhankhar said that the development of tourism infrastructure has been accompanied with innovative initiatives such as Dekho Apna Desh and Utsav Portal.
Speaking on the occasion Shri G. Kishan Reddy said that under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India’s Tourism sector is moving towards creative, responsible and inclusive growth. The Ministry of Tourism is working with 360-degree perspective and whole of government approach for the development of tourism sector. Along with Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Commerce are also working for the development of this sector, which will help in establishing better synergy and convergence leading to sustainable and world class infrastructure development.
Shri Reddy further highlighted that India plans to position itself as a major tourism destination during its presidency of G20 for 2023. During the presidency we aim to showcase India as a ‘must visit’ destination at a global level. 3600 railway coaches have been allocated for tourism purpose for Circuit specific trains. Such trains have already started for Ramayana and Buddhist Circuits while the one for Krishna Circuit will start soon. Our aim is to make India one of the most prominent destinations of the world. Union Minister added that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is working as brand ambassador of Indian tourism.
MoS Tourism Shri Ajay Bhatt congratulated all the award winners and said that Ministry of Tourism has prepared a draft National Tourism Policy 2022 as part of the vision of New India on high trajectory of growth and prosperity. The Policy aims at Improving framework conditions for tourism development in the country, supporting tourism industries, strengthening tourism support functions and developing tourism sub sectors.
During his welcome speech Secretary Tourism Shri Arvind Singh said that this kind of award motivates the travel and tourism sector. Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sector, creating export and prosperity around the world. Indian Tourism sector has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth for Indian economy post covid, he said.
As India celebrates 75 years of independence, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, commences its Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) iconic week on 27th September 2022 by recognizing the efforts of industry stakeholders and conferring the National Tourism Awards. Due to Covid, the Awards could not be organised during the last 2 years.
The National Tourism Awards are presented to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, including State Governments in recognition of their performance in their respective fields and also to encourage healthy competition with an aim to promote tourism. These Awards have over the years emerged as a prestigious recognition of achievements in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.