Complete package" destinations, App, Unity Malls: BJP govt's push to boost domestic tourism
"The state is encouraged to set up such a Unity Mall in the capital or a major tourist center or a financial capital," Sitharaman said.
To promote domestic tourism, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government will select at least 50 destinations to be developed as a "complete tourism package", finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the Union Budget on Wednesday.
"At least 50 destinations will be selected and developed as a complete tourist package. These destinations will be selected in a challenging mode with an integrated and innovative approach, while the focus of tourism development would be on domestic and foreign tourists," the minister. was quoted as saying by ANI. as they say in Parliament.
He also announced the launch of an application that provides essential information on tourist destinations and includes information on physical and virtual connections, tourist guides, advanced food streets, and tourist safety.
"Tourism has a lot of potential to be exploited. The sector offers huge opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, especially for the youth," NDTV quoted him as saying in his budget speech. To boost domestic tourism, the finance minister has given a boost to sectoral skill development and entrepreneurship, which will help the government achieve the goals of the Dekho Apna Deshi initiative.
"To promote tourism in border villages, tourist infrastructure, and services will be promoted within the framework of the Visible Villages program," said the minister.
Sitharaman then highlighted the various government programs being launched to promote domestic tourism. "The 'Dekho Apna Desh' initiative was launched as an appeal by the Prime Minister to the middle class to prefer domestic tourism to international tourism, while the 'Swadesh Darshan Scheme' was launched for the integrated development of a theme-based tourism circuit," he added.
Apart from this, the Center is encouraging the state governments to develop Unity Mall in the capital cities or a popular tourist spot in the states. “States are encouraged to set up such a Unity Mall in the capital or the most prominent tourist center or financial capital and also provide space for ODOP and GI products from other countries,” he added.
Speaking about the tourism opportunities, he said, "The country offers a huge draw for domestic and foreign tourists. Tourism has a lot of potential to be exploited. There are huge job opportunities in the field and especially for young people for entrepreneurship. Promotion of tourism will be done on a mission-based basis, with active participation of states, convergence of government programs and public-private partnership,"
The Union government on Wednesday presented the annual budget, the last full budget of the second year of Prime Minister Narendra's government Modi, as the Lok Sabha elections are due in 2024.