NEW DELHI: The much-awaited new National Tourism Policy is at the concluding stage of processing and will soon be placed before the Union cabinet to seek final nod.
The tourism ministry officials, privy to the development, said that the ministry had set the ball rolling to finalise the policy document after incorporating suggestions received from the stakeholders and government agencies.
“The draft policy was circulated among all central ministries, state governments, union territory (UTs) administrations and industry (tourism and travel) stakeholders for seeking their comments and suggestions. The draft Policy has been updated; suggestions and feedback received from them have been incorporated. The process of seeking the nod of the cabinet is in progress,” said officials.
The draft policy focusing on employment generation, community participation and tourism in a sustainable and responsible manner was sent to the central ministries, government departments, states, UTs and other concerned agencies in January.
In the new policy, the ministry has proposed a slew of reforms and improvements in Visa regime efficiency and transparency in timely application processing.
It seeks to streamline and enhance visa processing through simplified procedures, shorter application forms, online application, automated and faster processing, improved customer service and capacity at consulates.
Besides various reforms in the tourism and hospitality sectors, the ministry has also proposed provisions for regular review of Visa related requirements.
“We will soon be sending the document (policy) to the Union cabinet, which is chaired by PM Narendra Modi,” said officials.
Key strategic objectives of National Tourism Policy
To enhance the contribution of tourism in the Indian economy by increasing visitation, stay and spend.
To create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the tourism sector and ensure the supply of skilled workforce.
To enhance the competitiveness of the tourism sector and attract private sector investment
Main guiding principle of the policy is to promote sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism
To ensure sustainable, responsible and inclusive development of tourism in the country
To preserve and enhance the cultural and natural resources of the country
'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' will be a central idea under the policy to enhance interaction and promote mutual understanding between people of different States/ UTs to promote a sustained and structured cultural connection in tourism and related areas of culture, traditions & music, cuisine, sports and sharing of best practices.