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Multilingual guides, special app should help foreign tourists: Om Birla

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla suggested training tourist guides, designated police personnel in multiple foreign languages and developing a multilingual app to make tourists visiting India feel at ease

Om Birla

Om Birla

Press Trust of India New Delhi
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday suggested training tourist guides and designated police personnel in multiple foreign languages and developing a multilingual app to make tourists visiting India feel at ease.
In his address at the opening session of a day-long national conference on tourist police, attended by top officers of various states and Union Territories, he asserted that efforts should be made so that not a single crime happened against any tourist.
"Many foreign tourists, especially those in the age bracket of 50s and 60s, wish to speak in their own language. So it is important to be multilingual as per the needs of the tourists and our policy should factor in that aspect," Birla said.
As a result, if guides and tourist police personnel can be multilingual or can be taught elementary phrases in multiple foreign languages, a tourist can be better facilitated and they will also feel more at ease during interactions, he said.
"Similarly, an app can be developed in multiple major foreign languages whereby any tourist, when they come to India, can download the app so that they can get basic information about tourist places and other necessary information in their language of preference. This app can also have a helpline through which tourists can use to reach out to the authorities concerned immediately," the Lok Sabha Speaker said.
Birla said India was endowed with extraordinary natural and cultural heritage sites, besides iconic monuments, but for any tourist, the first and foremost factor in choosing a destination was the country's law and order.
"If a place has not many impressive or large number of tourist sites, but law and order is good, then a tourist will consider going to that place. But if a place has a lot of natural sites and attractive destinations, but law and order situation is not good, then tourists won't prefer that place as a destination," he said.
During the conference, the best practices and experiences of some of the states, which have implemented their own tourist police, will be shared, officials said.
Senior officials from Meghalaya and Rajasthan made presentations during the opening session and shared their learnings and challenges.
Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy, in his address, said different states and Union Territories should try to engage in "healthy competition" in implementing the best tourism-related policies to enhance the experience of tourists, both domestic and foreign.
He flagged the harassment faced tourists due to a few unscrupulous elements such as middlemen who cheat them or some taxi or autorickshaw drivers who try to fleece them. He also highlighted incidents of snatching at many religious or other sites.
Reddy emphasised that all stakeholders must come together to give a good experience to tourists so that they praise India and its hospitality and culture when they go back to their countries.
The Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), is organising the national conference of director generals/inspector generals of police department of all states and Union Territories "in connection with implementation of Uniform Tourist Police Scheme" at Vigyan Bhawan here, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
During the conference, the report on 'Tourist Police Scheme' prepared by BPR&D will be deliberated and it will share the findings and recommendations of the report with the Home ministry, Tourism ministry and representatives of state governments and Union Territory administrations, the statement said.
Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh and Director General (BPR&D, MHA) Balaji Srivastava also attend the event.
DGs, IGs and other senior police officers and senior officials in tourism departments of many states and Union Territories, and other senior officials of the two ministries, BPR&D also were present during the conference.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 19 2022 | 3:58 PM IST

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