Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of Tourism & Culture (I/C), claims that the COVID-19 crisis has given the Ministry of Tourism an opportunity to mend procedures for the future and put things in order. He adds that they have also been able to list more hotels with MOT during the crisis.
Calling Ministry of Tourism (MOT) as a stakeholder of the tourism industry, Prahlad Singh Patel says that owing to COVID-19, most damage has already been done to the industry and revival will come only after survival. That said, he adds that the crisis has also given the industry opportunities in disguise. “Statistics have always been in question; we realised that earlier, only 1400 hotels were listed with MOT and we started enrollments amid the crisis. Now, the number has reached 17,000. Even for guides, we didn’t have statistics. We have used this opportunity to do something for the stakeholders,” he said, speaking at fourth edition of National Talent Competition in Tourism & Hospitality Sector by PHD Chambers.
Patel also welcomed the move to open hotels and restaurants in Delhi, and thanked the Home Minister as well as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. “Opening of the two biggest segments of the tourism industry – hotels and restaurants – in the country’s capital is a positive move that will help push domestic travel and give much relief to the industry which has been readying itself with all health and safety protocols,” he shared, adding that soon, they will be able to open banquet halls with 50 per cent capacity.
With regard to revival of the aviation industry, Patel said, “We have been able to revive air travel to a certain extent and will continue to increase it. Today, most of the airlines have shown interest in flying to India.”
The Minister also stressed on the importance of the tourism industry as an enabler of economic growth, adding, “We have immense opportunities to increase wellness tourism in the country. We need to handhold and collaborate so that the tourism industry bounces back smoothly.”
MOT will launch NIDHI (National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry) on September 27. It is also working on another platform, SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness and Training for Hospitality Industry).