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10 highlights to celebrate: Ministry of Tourism, Year End Review 2020

Year 2020, was a rollercoaster for everyone across the globe. Among many others, Ministry of Tourism also faced unprecedented challenges in the face of this pandemic. Well gladly, we have come through this year with support of each other. This past year, we have shared the challenges that the industry has faced, today we are sharing the highlights that the Ministry of Tourism was able to achieve through these tumultuous times.

1. ) Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme: Ministry of Tourism has launched the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme, a Pan-India online learning program accessible from different digital devices. The programme aims at enhancing the overall experience of tourists by creating a pool of local, trained professionals. It will help in creating employment opportunities at the local level even in remote areas with tourism potential. As on December 21st 2020, 6402 persons have registered under the IITFC Programme.

2. ) Conference on Destination Management and Community Participation :Ministry of Tourism organized a Conference on Destination Management and Community Participation on 13th–14th February, 2020 at Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. It was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Culture & Tourism and Chief Minister of Gujarat. The meeting was convened to discuss the importance of Destination Management and Community Participation in the tourism sector.

3. ) Incredible India Website launched: The Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (IC) launched the Incredible India Website in Chinese, Arabic and Spanish languages to attract tourists from these regions. Find the website here.

4. ) ‘Dekho Apna Desh’: The Ministry of Tourism launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative in January 2020 with the objective of creating awareness among the citizens about the rich heritage and culture of the country and encourage citizens to travel within the country. This initiative is in line with the 15th August 2019 address of the Prime Minister asking every citizen to visit at least 15 destinations by the year 2022. Under this initiative, the Ministry is organizing a series of Webinars under the overall theme of Dekho Apna Desh, showcasing the diverse culture, heritage, destinations and tourism products of the country. To create mass awareness, the Ministry has also launched an online Dekho Apna Desh pledge and Quiz on the platform. As on date 68 webinars have been organized with a viewership of almost 3 lakh.

5. )Stranded in India’ portal: The Ministry of Tourism set up a portal ‘Stranded in India’ with a view to facilitate and extend support to foreign tourists who were stranded in the country on account of cancellation of flights/lockdown. The portal helped tourists get information/details of State /UT Tourism Departments and Regional Offices of Ministry of Tourism.

6.) ‘International Day of Yoga’ (IDY): Ministry of Tourism carried out several activities on the central theme “Yoga @ home & Yoga with family” to mark the ‘International Day of Yoga’ (IDY). The highlight of the celebrations was the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ Webinar on 20th June 2020 which featured a conversation with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Ji. This session titled 'Bharat: A Cultural Treasure' was led by the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture and had renowned personalities from diverse fields including tourism & hospitality as panelists. A number of activities were also carried out by the Domestic and Overseas India tourism Offices to mark the celebration of IDY 2020.

7. ) NIDHI: Ministry of Tourism has created the National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) to get a clear picture of the geographical spread of the Hospitality Sector, its size, structure and existing capacity. It will serve as a common repository of data from 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. As on date, 34399 accommodation units have been registered on the portal since the time it got functional i.e. 08.06.2020.

8. ) SAATHI: In order to ensure adherence with the COVID-19 safety and hygiene protocol, MoT has undertaken an initiative called SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for Hospitality Industry) in association with the Quality Council of India (QCI) for effective implementation of Guidelines/ SOPs issued with reference to COVID-19 and beyond for safe operations of Hotels, Restaurants, B&Bs and other units. As on date, 6810 accommodation units have been self-certified on the SAATHI portal.

9. ) Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel held a virtual meeting with 34 State Tourism Ministers/Officials in New Delhi on 15th& 16th October 2020. The Minister said that earlier we only had 1400 registrations of hotels with us but because of NIDHI (National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry) initiative, now number is growing regularly. It gives us more reliable data of the tourists and hospitality industry. The National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) is a joint initiative of the Central and State Governments in partnership with the Hospitality Industry to create a digital platform for Hospitality Industry. The platform has a simple registration process for hospitality units in various categories viz., Hotels, Resorts, Guest houses, Bed and Breakfast/ Homestays, Farm stays, Lodges/Tourist homes, Houseboats, Heritage Homes, Timeshare units, Apartment hotels, Tented accommodation, Standalone F& B units etc. The registered unit is given username and password and can update the information at any time.

10. ) Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat: Ministry of Tourism has been regularly working to promote the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat through various activities.

Even during the COVID-19 Pandemic Bharat Central Institutes of Hotel Management affiliated to NCHMCT & Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management organized various Activities on Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat since 8th May 2020 to 24th August 2020. The activities witnessed an enthusiastic participation in the true spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

In the presence of the Union Minister of State for Tourism (IC), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was virtually signed by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) with Ministry of Tourism for women empowerment. Through this initiative TAAI & FLO would lay emphasis on personal and hospitality skills, a more flexible work balance and greater options for entrepreneurship with significantly lower capital.

Ministry of Tourism: Year End Review 2020 was published by Press Information Bureau, Government of India at 03 JAN 2021 11:36AM by PIB Delhi. Find the press release by Ministry of Tourism in PDF here.

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