Dharamshala Declaration 2022

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    • Recently, the ‘Dharamshala Declaration 2022’ was released at a three-day national conference on tourism.

    More about the news

    • The Centre unveiled an ambitious plan for the tourism sector in the National Conference.
      • Recovery of tourism to the pre-pandemic level by 2024, 
      • $250 billion contribution to the GDP by 2030, and 
      • India will be a world leader in tourism by 2047. 
    • The Dharamshala Declaration:
      • It includes a long-term revenue goal of $1 trillion by 2047, when the country turns 100.
    • Tourism Clubs:
      • The Union Tourism and Culture Minister called on states to start work on “a war footing” by establishing tourism clubs.
        • The proposal is to work on making Yuva Tourism clubs at district and mandal levels.
        • Private players can also be involved in special cases, besides utilisation of the PM Gati Shakti initiative.
    • State-specific plans:
      • Jammu & Kashmir:
        • J&K, saw 1.42 crore tourists, including 11,000 foreigners, this year till August. 
        • The focus now is on promoting destinations beyond Srinagar and Gulmarg (75 off-beat sites have already been selected), 
        • It also plans a renewed push for projecting the Valley as an ideal filming destination.
        • Incentives are announced for films where more than 50 percent shoot is done in the UT.
      • West Bengal:
        • Besides getting medical tourists, the state is also focussing on cultural tourism.
        • With Durga Puja getting a place on UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, the state is attracting foreign travelers for the puja processions.
      • Tamil Nadu:
        • Tamil Nadu pitched itself as a destination for medical tourism, with the state getting 40 percent of all medical tourists coming to India. 
        • Chennai, Vellore and Coimbatore get the maximum number of such visitors from countries in the Middle East, the UK, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
      • Recovery to the pre-pandemic level:
        • Tourism in most states will recover to the pre-pandemic level by mid-2024, especially once foreign travellers start arriving, the numbers are already up in J&K, Uttarakhand and Goa.
    • Foreign tourists:
      • In terms of foreign tourist arrivals, the Gulf countries, the UK, the US and Germany remain the top source markets. “The trend hasn’t changed, even as the numbers have come down.
      • On this front, the Centre announced that several visa reforms will be undertaken, while immigration will also be made more visitor-friendly.

    Tourism Sector in India

    • Role & importance:
      • The tourism sector contributes significantly to the Indian as well as the world economy.
      • Tourism is an integral pillar of the Make in India programme.
      • In India, the travel and tourism sector is one of the largest employers, employing nearly 12.75% (including both direct and indirect employment) of employment share in 2018-19.
      • Tourism tends to encourage the development of multiple-use infrastructure.
        • For Example, hotels, resorts & restaurants, transport infrastructure (aviation, roads, shipping & railways) and healthcare facilities.
    • Opportunities: 
      • India has over 200 beaches, 38 UNESCO World Heritage sites and 668 protected areas that can attract significant tourism activity.
      • India’s ranking in the 2021 Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) is 54
        • TTCI is published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
      • By 2028, Tourism & Hospitality is forecasted to earn $50.9 bn as visitor exports compared to $28.9 bn earned in 2018.
      • By 2029, Travel & Tourism will account for nearly 53 million jobs as compared to the 43 million jobs directly in 2018 (8.1% of total employment)
      • By 2030, India is expected to be among the top 5 business travel markets.
      • Further, the domains of medical tourism, eco-tourism, gem & jewellery market, religious tourism and other such niche areas may see a boom.
    • Key areas:
      • India’s gems and jewellery and handicrafts: They are quite popular among tourists. 
      • Medical Tourism: India is emerging as the most preferred destination for Medical Tourism. 
      • The availability of world-class medical facilities with top class doctors, personalized nursing care, offering specialized treatments at a cost 1/4th that of developed countries.
      • Landscape: The country landscape possesses a gracious natural beauty, and can cater to almost every type of traveller whether they are seeking adventure, wellness, culture and heritage or cuisines.
      • Labour Force: The availability of a huge labour force both skilled and unskilled can act as a catalyst due to the service-based nature of the tourism industry.

    Government initiatives to boost tourism sector in India:

    • Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
      • Launched by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) 
      • Central Sector Scheme 
      • Aim: Integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country in 2014-15.
    • National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme:
      • Launched in 2015 
      • Focus on identifying and developing pilgrim sites across the country to promote religious tourism.
    • ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’:
      • Announced in  2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. 
      • Aim: To enhance the bonding between the states and strengthen the unity and integrity of India.
      • It showcases the rich heritage, culture, customs and traditions of the paired states.
      • Through student exchange programs, it enables people to have a better understanding and appreciate the diversity of the nation.
    • Dekho Apna Desh initiative:
      • Organises webinars, quiz, pledge, discussions to keep people connected with the stakeholders and to encourage citizens to travel within the country.
    • Adopt Heritage Project:
      • Launched in 2017 as a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UTs Governments.
      • It envisages the development and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage sites and making them tourist-friendly.
    • Destination North East-2020
      • It is an annual event of the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region.
      • The event highlights various potentials like eco-tourism, culture, heritage and business of the North East Region.
    • Gati Shakti Master Plan
    • It is a project for developing ‘holistic infrastructure’.
    • It will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various Ministries and State Governments like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN etc. 
    • Economic Zones like textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, agri zones will be covered to improve connectivity & make Indian businesses more competitive. 

    Source: TH