Ministry of Tourism celebrated virtual World Tourism Day today. This year United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has designated 2020 as the Year of Tourism and Rural Development. This Year is an opportunity to promote the potential of tourism to create jobs and opportunities. It can also advance inclusion and highlight the unique role tourism can play in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage and curbing urban migration. On this occasion, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel addressed the event and the chief guest for this event was Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The session was opened by Secretary (Tourism) extending a warm welcome and appreciating the awareness and pro active measures taken by all the stakeholders during this pandemic time to work out a strategy and taking necessary action. SAATHI Application was launched on this occasion. SAATHI is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism with Quality Council of India to assist the hospitality industry to instill confidence among the Staff, employees, and the guest.
Hon’ble Minister of Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel reiterated the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India asking every citizen to visit at least 15 destinations by the year 2022 to promote domestic tourism. The Ministry of Tourism has launched the Dekho Apna Desh (DAD) initiative in January 2020 with the objective of creating awareness among the citizens about the rich heritage and culture of the country, encouraging citizens to travel widely within the country and enhancing tourist footfalls leading to the development of local economy and creation of jobs at the local level. During this pandemic, Ministry has been organizing a series of webinars under the overall theme of DAD, showcasing the diverse culture, heritage, destinations, and tourism products of the country. As on date, 54 webinars covering different States/Union Territories have been organized as part of the initiative. To create mass awareness, the Ministry has also launched an online DAD pledge and Quiz on the MyGov.in platform. The online pledge and Quiz are open to all for participation.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism in launching the SAATHI application and the online learning module IITFC. He also lauded the Ministry’s effort of showcasing our culture, heritage, lesser-known destinations, cuisine, etc. through the webinar series Dekho Apna Desh. Talking about sustainable environment he was keen to take it further by substituting Petrol, diesel, kerosene etc with CNG/LPG which are pollution free. He also appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, in launching the Incredible India Tourist Facilitators (IITF) Certification Programme, a Pan-India online learning program that is open to all, and can be undertaken from anywhere in the country. The Programme aims at creating a pool of trained professionals for facilitating the visit of tourists at destinations across the country.
The programme will help in enhancing the overall experience of the tourists, who would benefit from the knowledge of the local tourist facilitators and it will also help in creating employment opportunities even in the remotest parts of the country. A film ‘Pathik’, an initiative on IITFC was launched on this occasion. A film by ICPB Mice Promotional film was also launched. Joint Secretary (Tourism) concluded the session with Vote of Thanks.