Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, has said that two important aspects of their discussions with the travel industry have been ensuring safety of travellers and harmonisation of protocols across states. She also claims that marketing the country as a safe destination has already begun.
Rupinder Brar has said that from their discussion with industry stakeholders, it has emerged that the most significant enabler in times to come is safety and that there is a need for harmonisation of quarantine rules across states. “People have to feel safe to travel, which not only requires the safety protocols to be in place, but what is equally important is to create the perception of safety, for which the government, associations, industry and citizens should work together. In order to ease travel, we also need to create harmonisation between rules of different states, based on local conditions,” she said speaking at a FICCI conference. The Ministry has started mild messaging about the destination already. “From our end, we have started sending the messaging out in terms of creatives. As we gradually open hotels, monuments and tourism sites, it’s extremely important to also have the right equipment in place, such as sanitisers,” she shared.
Brar also revealed that MOT officials along with the Tourism Minister and TAAI President had a meeting with Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA) Hardeep Singh Puri. “We were happy to know that more than 90,000 (now over 1 million) people are travelling every day and that the confidence of people is beginning to trickle down by word of mouth.”
The ADG feels that smart packaging will be needed to boost domestic travel now. “We’ve had a lot of domestic travellers earlier, but the focus on converting outbound travellers from India and bringing them into the fold of travelling within India is a great challenge as well as an opportunity. Thus, we will have to look at some interesting packages and itineraries. Creative things need to be done. In fact, 50 per cent of states have already responded with one to two-night itineraries out of major cities. When we are a little safer in terms of COVID, we will make ‘smart packaging’ of all itineraries,” she said, adding that with millennials looking for adventure, MOT wants the industry to join them to create itineraries that promote lesser-known regions as well as those that promote adventure, where social distancing can be maintained.