The Director General of the Ministry of Tourism in the Government of India, and Managing Director of ITDC Ltd., Mr. G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, said today that the government is working on a National Tourism Policy and will be announcing the policy soon. He was speaking at the 4th Digital Travel, Hospitality & Innovation Summit organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
“We would like to come up with a National Tourism Policy which we will announce soon,” Mr. Rao said. Citing that the final discussions are happening, Mr. Rao shared that digitization and digital experiences will also be included in the National Tourism Policy. Highlighting the initiatives by the government to further digitization in the space of travel, tourism, and hospitality, Mr. Rao briefly mentioned the Utsav website portal that was recently launched by the Tourism Minister.
Highlighting the role of digitization for the travel and tourism sector, Mr. Rao said, “A major thing that the ministry has taken up is we have formulated and issued guidelines about the National Digital Tourism Mission with support and input from the industry.”
Ms. Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said,
“The government is coming out with a digital platform to facilitate seamless travel within India.”
“This platform can be used by every stakeholder of travel and tourism from big to small players.” She further added that the Ministry of Tourism is closely working with various other ministries like the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and the Ministry of Aviation, along with the state governments to give it a shape.
Urging the government to support digitization for the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors, Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Past President of FICCI, and Chairperson of the FICCI Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee, said, “It is because of the digitization that the growth of this industry will become better, and it will enable the businesses to reach out to new markets and of course increase competitiveness.”
“This is [the] right time for all of us to strategize and create a level playing field for the industry [to] leverage technology,” said Dr. Suri while adding that we do need government support to create enabling policies.
Mr. Dhruv Shringi, Co-Chair of the FICCI Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee; Chair of the FICCI Travel Technology & Digital Committee; and CEO & Co-Founder of Yatra Online Inc. said: “People everywhere are online, and if we as organizations do not fully understand that, we will be left behind. So, it is very important for the travel industry to understand today. The role of travel counselors today is evolving in current times. This is truly the time for people to evolve from transaction agents to travel counselors.”
“Rise of infrastructure, fintech revolution, and digital growth are the macro tailwinds that will support the Indian travel and tourism growth story,” said Mr. Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & Group CEO of MakeMyTrip, while delivering a presentation on India Tourism Unleashed.
“At FICCI, we want to be the harbinger of collaborations and catalyze the reforms together with the government,” said Mr. Ashish Kumar, Co-Chair of the FICCI Travel Technology & Digital Committee.