Mr Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC), Govt of India said that the pandemic has deeply impacted the travel industry and opening up of domestic tourism will help in boosting the economy post COVID-19. The need is to have coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders including the Government of India, state governments, various ministries and industry. He added that if we are able to build consumer confidence, domestic tourism will pick up in no time. Addressing the webinar 'Tourism E-Conclave: Travel & Hospitality: What's Next?', organized by FICCI, Mr Patel said that the travel and hospitality industry is struggling to survive and the government should provide relief to the sector by way of considering reduction in bills and charges for hotels and other such measures. He added that there are barriers in opening up of the sector and urged the industry to share its recommendations to overcome them with the tourism and finance ministries and other departments.
Alluding to the importance of collaboration and synergy amongst stakeholders, Mr Patel said that he has been writing to Chief Ministers of various states to jointly work towards saving and reviving the tourism sector. He has also written to the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to open the tiger reserves with the requisite road infrastructure. The Minister said that the need is to identify priority areas in the travel and hospitality sector in tandem with state governments for developing various circuits in the country. He added that with COVID-19, we are facing an unprecedented challenge but the industry has maintained a positive stance and is working towards the survival and revival of the tourism sector.
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