Objective of the plan is to make tourists feel safe: Tourism Secretary
Tourism Secretary B. Chandramohan on Thursday said the government was working on an integrated master plan that aimed to make tourists feel safe and give them a different experience.
“We are putting together a health and hygiene protocol that will be shared with all stakeholders and implemented so that visitors can travel and stay in the State with confidence. Another area of focus is to prolong tourist stay. At present, it is 2-3 days. We are working to extend it to 3-5 days, which will lead to more earnings and help the industry and those depending on it both directly and indirectly,” he said.
Speaking at an online seminar on “Domestic tourism — opportunities and challenges” organised by Madras Management Association (MMA) and Prakruthi, he said the high-level committee constituted by the government was working on 10 segments, including pilgrimage and heritage tourism, spiritual and wellness tourism, eco tourism and adventure tourism.
MMA president Ravichandran Purushothaman said that though tourism was a significant contributor to India’s GDP, there was still room for expansion as country’s tourism potential remained unexploited, and added that domestic tourism offered enormous opportunities for youth.
M.K. Ajit Kumar, spokesperson, South India MICE Association, said that though at present the industry was down, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The Meetings Incentives Conferences Exhibitions (MICE) industry was waiting for the government to lift restrictions on the number of persons allowed for meetings. “People are bored with online meetings and are looking forward to get out of their homes and meet friends and colleagues in person,” he said.
Shabin Sarvotham, senior general manager, Radisson Blu Temple Bay, said there would be many opportunities for youth once things improve. “There is enough space for people who think differently and out of the box because the guests too expect such things now, especially after being cooped up in their homes. The pandemic has shown that even now, there are opportunities for those who are willing to make a mark on their own,” he said.
Asoka Pugal, president emeritus, Tourist Guides Federation of India, said that guides should welcome visitors but send back friends. “A guide can make or mar a tour. They should constantly update themselves and keep learning,” he said.
Source: Read Full Article