Benefits be extended still

President of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Captain Swadesh Kumar, in discussion with the Tourism Minister, briefed about various issues the industry is currently facing. He said that the meeting was really good and positive. “We are really happy after meeting the Tourism Minister who was very receptive to our requests. It was very clear that the only financial benefit we can get is the measures announced for MSMEs by the finance minister during her relief package announcement. The Minister said he can assist if any issue arises related to that,” Kumar said.

One of the strong points which was made during the meeting was that all the relief measures announced by the finance minister are for those who have a relationship with the banks. “We made a request that benefits should be extended to those, too, who do not have any relationship with banks. This was one of several positive aspects of the meeting,” he added.

Another point which the association discussed was clarity on when the destinations were going to open for tourism, to which the Minister said that he cannot predict when borders and connectivity are going to open, since this decision lies under discretion of individual states. The Minister’s view was that Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh will open up for tourism shortly, and asked the association to be ready for the same.

“During the meeting, we neither “During the meeting, we neither asked about tourism task force or anything else, we went to meet the Minister specifically for financial help. We also asked to make MDA norms more liberal and easier. The Minister said they will work on it. The ministry also apprised us about doing a huge marketing campaign in India and abroad,” Kumar said. asked about tourism task force or anything else, we went to meet the Minister specifically for financial help. We also asked to make MDA norms more liberal and easier. The Minister said they will work on it. The ministry also apprised us about doing a huge marketing campaign in India and abroad,” Kumar said.

The Minister also put focus on promoting SOPs and guidelines which they are making for convenience of tourism stakeholders in the post-COVID-19 era. “We have been asked to follow the guidelines and protocols of the SOP and promote the same among our members and others,” Kumar added.

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