New Delhi, March 13: A parliamentary standing committee has rued the lack of a clear roadmap from the Tourism Ministry to leverage the opportunity presented to the country in view of its presidentship of the G20 to increase tourist footfalls.
The report of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, which was submitted on Monday, stated the ministry should have also set aside a budget for promotional activities for G20.
“The committee also feels that the ministry does not have a roadmap to leverage the G20 opportunity to its maximum potential for the promotion of tourism and increase of foreign exchange. The Committee recommends that the ministry may develop a more detailed roadmap for attracting FDI in the tourism sector.
“The committee feels that a separate budget allocation should have been kept for a major year-long event like the G20 which is expected to have much impact on Indian tourism,” the report said.
The panel also stated that the budget of Rs 242 crore would not be enough for all routine promotional activities to be undertaken as well as the additional events and Summits planned for the G20.
“The committee, therefore, recommends that the ministry may approach the Ministry of Finance for increased allocation for the budget for promotional activities,” it said.
It also said the ministry should not lose the opportunities provided by the G20 meetings and the “Visit India” promotional campaign and should make sure that a roadmap for overseas promotion is in place before the start of the next financial year so that the budget can be utilized.
At a time when the ministry is planning to leverage India’s presidency of G20 to promote both domestic and inbound tourism this year, the Overseas Promotion and Publicity scheme has not yet been approved, the parliamentary panel said.
“The Committee feels that this would be a setback to the ministry’s plans for global campaigns for promotion. The committee notes that all eight functioning overseas promotion offices are being shut down.
“The ministry has stated that alternative methods of promotion are being used but has not specified the methods in this regard. The committee observes that tourism officers have been appointed in Indian Missions abroad for promotion of tourism. It desires that details of the work being done by the tourism officers and the roadmap of the ministry for the promotion of Indian tourism abroad may be provided,” it said.
The panel also said it has observed that the ministry of tourism should have closed down the overseas offices only after providing alternate methods for overseas promotion and publicity.
“The Committee emphasizes that the ministry should not lose the opportunities provided by the G20 meetings and the ‘Visit India’ promotional campaign and should make sure that a roadmap for promotion overseas is in place before the start of the next financial year so that budget can be utilized,” it said. (PTI)