Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (I/c) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel participated in G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in Italy on 4th May 2021. The Minister congratulated Mr Massimo Garavaglia, Minister of Tourism, and Government of Italy for holding G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in these difficult times and also thanked him for bringing together the member States for a dialogue to collaborate in protecting tourism businesses, jobs and taking initiatives to frame policy guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Shri Patel said that tourism has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with unprecedented impact on jobs, businesses, communities and the wider economy. He appreciated and supported the focus of the Italian G20 Presidency on recovery and ensuring new opportunities for People, Planet and Prosperity by putting in place Guidelines on the seven key interrelated policy areas: Safe mobility, Crisis management, Resilience, Inclusiveness, Green transformation, Digital transition and Investment and infrastructure which are comprehensive and relevant for resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism framed with the support of the OECD. He also conveyed India’s support for the Principles for the transition to a green travel and tourism economy submitted by UNWTO as a further contribution to the policy area “Green Transformation” to embrace sustainability in tourism.
Minister for Tourism & Culture, Shri Patel also highlighted the initiatives taken by Ministry of Tourism to promote community-based tourism and rural tourism by involving local population in the employment opportunities and income generating activities through sustainable and responsible tourism. Post COVID, the Ministry’s focus would be on promoting off-beat destinations and places such as nature and eco-tourism, wildlife, wellness retreats, mountaineering and trekking among others. Besides, India has a strong and vibrant system of traditional medicines, which provide for holistic healing. India would like to offer to the world, post COVID-19, calm, peace and health through Yoga, Ayurveda and other forms of traditional treatments and spiritual surroundings. The Minister expressed optimism that the tourism sector would fully recover from the impact of COVID 19 disruption and the sector will emerge stronger post COVID with the roll out of vaccination programs across the countries.
The Minister concluded with the thanks to the Italian G20 Presidency for its leadership and India will continue its support and cooperation to ensure further progress under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022.