New Delhi: In an attempt to push tourism and improve the conditions in the tourist spots, tourism ministry is looking to award those destinations that leave a lasting impression in the tourists mind.
Tourism Minister said that the Ministry has decided to institute from 2016 a new category in its annual National Tourism Awards to recognize the best efforts made by all States / UTs for ensuring cleanliness at their prominent places of tourist significance. This would be carried out on the basis of a cleanliness Index being evolved by the Ministry.
The Index will rank the cities on the basis of cleanliness at 10 popular destinations, 1 market place and 3 entry -exit points per city. The three cleanest destinations and three cleanest cities will be awarded.
Tourism Ministers from 18 states including Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma and Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Lt. General Ajay Kumar Singh attended the conference. The remaining 16 States / Union Territories were represented by their senior officials.
In his opening address, the Union Minster for Tourism said “I want accomplish four issues namely reiterate that the safety and security of all tourists, domestic as well as international, but especially women, remains the top priority for all of us; talk about some of the opportunities before us; update you on the Tourism Strategy of the Ministry of Tourism; and conclude with how we can continue to work together”.
The Minister said, “As our Prime Minister who proclaimed from Red Fort about the attitude among the section of Governments workforce “Mera Kya and Muujhe Kya”. We have to rise above the feelings of "what does it mean for me?" and "why should I bother?" Everything is not for self-interest.
"One should work with the sentiment that “I am for nation`s interest and in this field, I am going to lead". Even before the elections, PM Modi identified five pillars (Five Ts) that will guide us in moving forward and we are proud that ‘Tourism’ is one of the five important pillars. Our commitment to develop tourism in the country is evident from our budget announcements." Shripad Naik announced that from next year, the conference will be a two day affair.
The Union Finance and Defence Minister addressing the conference said that tourism industry in India is a low hanging fruit and with a little bit of planning, we can achieve far greater advantages.
He said, Tourism is not the sector of rich. Some of the tourists may be rich. The economic principle in which tourism functions is the man who has the wealth spends and the others get the job. So it is one of the largest employers in the world. Tourism is one of the greatest economic resources. If cooperative federalism can be seen in play, it is really in the Tourism sector. It is a sector which can create win- win situation for every Government.