MOT promotes Gandhi circuit

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) will be promoting the Gandhi Gramin Tourism Circuit to highlight and showcase the life and times of the Father of the Nation. The ministry is also roping in IATO to actively promote these circuits.

Manas Dwivedi

As part of celebrity the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, MOT is actively working to promote the Gandhi Gramin Circuit among foreign and domestic tourists. Sharing more details, Meenakshi Sharma, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said that Mahatma Gandhi was a world leader who encouraged people to travel and find out what different cultures and societies are about.

“With a vision to promote his ideas, we are working to promote the rural circuits and destinations related to the Father of the Nation, through which tourists can know and learn more about him. We are planning to identify such destinations around the country, and IATO is culling out different itineraries to help people coming to India know about Gandhi. They can learn about his lifestyle and what he wanted India to become. Hence, the ministry is actively promoting these circuits with IATO and will continue to do that as part of the year-long celebrations,” Sharma briefed.

With a vision to promote his ideas, we are working to promote the rural circuits and destinations related to the Father of the Nation, through which tourists can learn more about him

On the same lines, the ministry also organised and celebrated the annual ‘Paryatan Parv’ starting from Gandhi’s birth anniversary, October 2, to October 6 at Rajpath lawns, New Delhi, and from October 2-13 pan India, with an objective to promote the idea of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ and ‘Tourism for All’.

With India hosting the UNWTO World Tourism Day celebrations this year for the first time, Sharma calls it another milestone for the country in promoting tourism. “This year’s theme was ‘Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all’. As we all understand, unless, tourism creates jobs, it is not good for the community. It was indeed a very good experience working with UNWTO and we will continue to do so for nurturing tourism globally,” she said.

Calling the current environment very positive for the tourism industry, Sharma said that the recent steps taken by the government are aimed to boost tourism business in the country.

“The current environment is very positive in the industry with the reduction in e-Tourist visa fee, GST rates on hotels and corporate tax. Moreover, the new one-month validity visa for $10 during lean season, as well as the one-year and five-year visas for foreign visitors will further act as catalysts to make India a favourable and attractive destination. This seems to be a very good time for the tourism fraternity in the country as far as infrastructure, global promotion and facilitation are concerned. I hope that this will bring good news for the tourism industry as well as economic growth and employment opportunities for India,” she said.

The ministry is also engaging in a lot of activities to boost the number of visitor arrivals in the country, which include a global promotional plan and strategies to attract Indian diaspora to the country.

IATO’s itineraries for Gandhi Circuit

Working on the ministry’s guidelines, IATO has suggested few itineraries for tour operators to promote the Gandhi Gramin Circuit. Tour operators are going to promote the ciqwrcuit throughout the year to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations. The main opportunity IATO is giving is to promote those locations, which are directly connected with Mahatma Gandhi. Not only his birthplace, Porbandar (Gujarat), but all the locations he worked, lived, and connected with people throughout his life. These locations include Mani Bhavan in Mumbai, Aga Khan Palace in Pune, Champaran in Bihar, National Gandhi Museum in New Delhi, Birla House (where Gandhi was assassinated), Rajghat (memorial dedicated to Gandhi) and certain places in Kolkata as well, where he led his movements during the freedom struggle of the country. Crafting some diverse tours and packages to sensitise the people about Gandhi, the itineraries include Shimla as well, where 9andhi spent a significant amount of time in his life.

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