Connectivity, infra top MOT agenda

Citing that the tourism sector is beneficiary of investments by various ministries and departments, including national highways, rural development, civil aviation and railways, G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, Director General Tourism, Government of India, urges investors to invest in tourism and infrastructure projects.

Janice Alyosius

G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India & Managing Director, ITDC Ltd, has urged investors to invest in the tourism sector. “India is going to host the G-20 meetings next year and it will be organised across various states and cities. The states are also investing heavily to build infrastructure. I urge investors to come forward and invest in the hospitality sector,” he said, while addressing the 7th National Tourism Investors Meet 2022, organised recently by FICCI.

Speaking about the investment potential in tourism sector, Rao said that the sector is beneficiary of all the investments by various ministries and departments, including national highways, rural development, civil aviation and railways. “Every state is focusing on construction of roads as a part of rural tourism initiative to ensure rural connectivity. And here, technology is playing an important role. Use of modernised equipment is ensuring that the roads are strong enough and are not damaged or get affected easily by monsoon rains,” he added.

Rao’s views hold significance in the view of PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (PMGS-NMP), which was launched to provide multimodal connectivity infrastructure to various economic zones. There are seven engines that drive the plan comprising roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infrastructure. Separate budgets have been allocated for different segments and the government is working towards achieving the macro-economic level growth with a focus on micro-economic level all-inclusive welfare.

Working on the lines of PMGS-NMP, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is rigorously working towards the set target of National Highways Network to be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23. The other and an important area of focus is the air connectivity. Rao said that each year the government is taking various steps to improve the rail and air connectivity but air connectivity in the north-eastern sector still needs to be enhanced. “The government is focusing on discovering new airports and last mile connectivity. Every year we are focusing on improving our connectivity, which is a challenge in a lot of destinations, especially in the Northeast region. (The) Prime Minister has given a target that 100 university students in India should be taken to Northeastern states to show and let them experience the beauty but connectivity is a major issue there. So, apart from road and highway, the government is focusing on airport development and air connectivity,” he added.

He also mentioned about the G20 summit. India will hold the G-20 presidency from 1 December 2022 and convene the first G20 leaders’ summit in 2023. “This is an opportunity for India to recover and bounce back,” Rao said, requesting the investors to invest in the development of new destinations and promote India.

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