Mini retreat in Bekal explores the common meeting grounds for tourism development in South India…
The World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) discussed the potential of inter-state tourism circuit development. WTTCII held a three-day mini retreat at Bekal in North Kerala and explored the common meeting grounds for development of tourism in southern region. The three day mini retreat saw participation from tourism representatives, including Tourism Ministers and top decision-makers of the state governments of the Southern region. The retreat exchanged ideas on various issues affecting inter-State Tourism Circuit Development, like the new tourism product snad policy that each state is planning to bring to the fore, the necessary infrastructure, policy and other interventions needed to make these initiatives a success.
Addressing the mini retreat, Subodh Kant Sahai, India’s Minister for Tourism, urged the states to form an inter-ministerial committee for tourism like the Centre, with the chief minister of the state or the chief secretary as Chairman for speedy redressal and implementation of various programmes related to tourism. While appreciating WTTC’s role in spreading awareness about tourism, Sahai said that the Ministry of Tourism is planning a conference of all the tourism ministers of states to be chaired by the Prime Minister of India soon.
“Tourism has yet to get the highest political and economic priority and recognition. It is still not a political agenda of many states. The states must realise that tourism is a business model. At this WTTCII Retreat at Bekal, it is heartening to see five Southern states present, all of them meaning business and have their future plans ready,” Sahai added.
RH Khwaja, India’s Secretary for Tourism advocated “convergence” and “synergy” to remove current bottlenecks. He asked the five southern states to emulate the Golden Triangle model to make seamless travel possible in the region for tourists. “We have to look at how we can do the doable. There are two sides happening in India at the same time. There is Incredible India as well as there is Impossible India! We have to see how we can capitalise on the good stories and reduce the impossible side of India,” he stated.