Indians would prefer local travel in post-pandemic phase: Venkaiah Naidu
(Sourced from PTI)
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said the country's tourism sector will get a boost in the post-pandemic phase as most of the Indians would prefer to "travel local." "I assume that in the post-COVID-19 phase, most people would prefer to travel local. This presents a huge opportunity for the Indian hospitality industry," Naidu said.
Addressing an event at the Institute of Hotel Management at Porvorim, Goa, Naidu said India has almost 2.6 crore outbound tourists. "India has over 200 beaches, 38 UNESCO world heritage sites, and 668 protected areas which can attract significant tourism activities," he said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caused a big setback to the global tourism sector," Naidu added.
"I am confident that the slow down will be temporary and the tourism and hospitality industry will bounce back. After remaining confined to their homes for a long time, people will be eager to travel for pleasure once the situation returns to normal," Naidu said.
"All stakeholders, including institutes of hotel management, will have a major role in contributing toward the revival of the tourism and hospitality industry," Naidu said. Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier appealed to citizens to explore the country. "In his Independence Day address in 2019, he had suggested that citizens should travel to at least 15 destinations by 2022," he said.
Naidu said, "The Union Ministry of Tourism has created the National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) to get a clear picture of geographical spread of the hospitality sector, its size, structure and existing capacity." "I am told that 32,624 units have registered under this portal," he said. "As India seeks to restart tourism, it is important to build confidence and trust," Naidu said.
"It will serve as a common repository of data from the Ministry of Tourism, state departments of tourism and industry and enable the central and state governments to deliver better support and services including policies and strategies," Naidu said.
"The ministry has put in place a System for Assessment, Awareness, and Training in Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety and hygiene guidelines and to ensure safety and health of employees/ customers," the Vice President said. "As of date, 6,352 accommodation units have registered under SAATHI," he added.