reddy: Vax is key to revival of tourism: Minister G Kishan Reddy | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Union minister G Kishan Reddy on Thursday said that there can be no bigger confidence booster for revival of tourism than widespread vaccination coverage against Covid-19.
Speaking on the opening day of a two-day conference of tourism and culture ministers from states in southern India in Bengaluru on Thursday, Reddy hailed the country’s milestone of administering one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses, calling it “the spirit of cooperative federalism” and said it would go a long way in reviving the tourism sector in the country.
Reddy said vaccination against Covid-19 and tourism will go hand in hand in the current scenario, and without the antidote, tourism will not survive, and no tourists will come.
Covid-induced lockdowns and restrictions had hit the sector hard, with many hotels and resorts owners closing down business after finding it economically unviable. Hundreds of taxi owners too had surrendered permits, their plight compounded by skyrocketing fuel prices.
However, things have been looking up for the sector in the past couple of months after the government eased restrictions. Tour operators and hotels are banking on the current festive season to revive fortunes. During the Dasara season, occupancy in hotels shot up to about 60%, a dream until recently.
“We should use challenging times as an opportunity to rethink, regenerate and reinvent the sector,” the Union minister said. “The platform needs to deliberate on how best governments can help the sector which has suffered the heaviest economic downturn during the pandemic. We need to find ways and means to help the industry revive and grow to its full potential.”
Reddy said the Union tourism ministry has unveiled several measures to encourage tourism and boost investment. The initiatives include a national policy, evolved after close consultations with states and all stakeholders. He said it would be unveiled soon.
He said the consultations included discussions to provide industry status to various tourism projects, unsecured loans of Rs 10 lakh to tour operators and Rs 1 lakh to tourist guides who have been affected by the pandemic and a new data-driven ‘Incredible India 2.0’ campaign.
Also, five lakh free visas will be provided to foreign visitors once international travel opens up, while e-visas will be extended to 169 countries, he said.
“We have witnessed the victory of scientists, victory of healthcare workers and the collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. It is a victory of ‘new India’ and ‘team India’ and a victory of the spirit of cooperative federalism, and of our corona warriors. It has also helped the tourism sector to revive,” Reddy said.
The conference is aimed at apprising various stakeholders about the projects launched by the Centre for the development of the region and revival of a sector ravaged by the pandemic. Reddy said the Union government’s decision to scale up vaccination to this speed was to ensure that both lives and livelihoods are protected.
Advertisement





Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *