Mumbai: The tourism industry in India is one of the most important contributors to the economy of the country and accounts for 9.2% of the country’s GDP and employs close to 8.1% of the population. The unprecedented COVID-19 induced crisis has led to a shutdown of the Travel & Tourism industry and has placed significant pressure on every stakeholder, with regard to finances and cash flows, employer and employee frictions and uncertainties, and how long the sector will take to revive itself. Now more than ever, the idea of being able to revamp India as a whole to become a prominent tourism destination of the world needs to be pushed.

As part of Celebrating World Tourism Day 2020, CII has organized “India: A Safe Tourist Destination”, a series of sessions that brought together experts from the Government and Industry to help re-strategize the restoration of the nation’s travel & Tourism Industry. The sessions deliberated around the need for the sector to be re-open and enable businesses to restart, the importance and practicality of air bubbles, developing tourism safe chains and reimagining the entire Indian Tourism Experience.

Ms. Meenakshi Sharma, has stated that govt. of india is keen to have common protocols across states as this is the right to time to benefit from destinations that are lesser known. It is imperative to create the necessary and sufficient interest surrounding these destinations and we are working with the Ministry of Culture to make our heritage areas more lucrative.

Ms. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary Tourism, Culture, Excise and Civil Aviation, Government of Maharashtra, It is a much needed signal to look at low hanging fruits the state has, with over 53 weekend stays already identified from the major cities. Vacation rentals are going at the fore as we move forward. this as an opportunity to create a new roadmap for tourism expressed.

Ms. Aradhana Khowala, CEO & Founder Aptamind Founder & Board and Steering Committee, World Tourism Forum Lucerne addressed 5 key points that need to be covered to promote tourism: Destinations need to come up with innovating campaigns to stay engaged with future travellers. India needs to promote itself in a better manner to the domestic population.We need to rethink the way we do traditional Business. Strict health & safety standards, measures and regulations will be essential to see customers return. And lastly, technology will be at the fore providing a variety of high technology solutions

Ms. Anita Mendiratta, Global Advisor and Author – Tourism & Development Special Advisor to Sec. Gen.UNWTO said Mother Earth has created a scenario where we are required to now promote, develop and innovate domestic tourism. We need to look at how we rebuild our communities, urban and rural through tourism.

Mr. Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President Asia-Pacific, International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed that if testing can be implemented in a wide- spread scalable way, without a quarantine period, we will certainly be able to spur international travel. Safety of the population is priority, and if a regime for travel is in place, people are going to travel. This is first and foremost a healthcare and humanitarian crisis that has caused the economic, aviation and T&T crisis