Ministry of Tourism is taking many initiatives towards re-starting tourism businesses across the country, shares Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture. He also elaborates on the recently launched detailed operational advisories for industry stakeholders.
Prahlad Singh Patel said that from June 8, 2020, hotels, restaurants and tour & travel companies across the country have been directed to open. “Apart from that, 821 ASI monuments have also been opened,” he said, speaking at the launch of online summer training by The Institute of Tourism Studies, University of Lucknow, in association with Voice of India Tourism (VOIT).
However, there are protocols in place and MOT has also released its own advisories. “In line with the SOPs that MHA and MoHFW have released, MOT has also come out with operational advisories for industry stakeholders, as we believe that we need to have separate advisories for different products and service providers in the industry, including monuments, hotels, restaurants, as well as tour & travel operators, and other related services. We all must abide by these advisories and take them as a pledge. Then only we can move forward from this threat,” he added. He believes that domestic tourism will kickstart the tourism business. “I have suggested that MOT would identify green airports across the country. When I talk about international airports, I have proposed Imphal in Manipur, which has become a COVID-free state, and Khajuraho in MP, that has been a big hub for international tourism. Smaller airports across the country can give strength to this idea. I have proposed airports in Leh, Uttarakhand, Himachal, Bagdogra, and many other airports in the country,” Patel shared.
MOT has also decided that they will be working on a social platform with state tourism ministries, where authentic and factually correct information is put, that can further be shared with agencies, online aggregators, hotels, tour & travel operators, as well as tourists. “The information on this platform by MOT would convey that we have taken consent from states and stakeholders for the same, and then we have allowed any traveller there. Otherwise, if someone travels anywhere, and gets stuck, it will be a dent in our trust,” added Patel.