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Large potential to be tapped in tourism: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in budget speech

With an aim of boosting tourism in the country, the Union Budget 2023-24, proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, promises to award huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth.

To enhance the tourist experience, an application will be launched where all relevant aspects of the tourist destination would be provided in addition to aspects such as physical and virtual connectivity, tourist guides, high standards for food streets, and tourists’ security.

Selecting destinations through challenge mode using an integrated and innovative approach, a minimum of 50 destinations will be selected and developed as a complete tourism package.

It was proposed that the promotion of tourism will be taken up on mission mode, with the active participation of states, convergence of government programmes and public-private partnerships.

Furthermore, the focus of development of tourism would be on domestic as well as foreign tourists.

To achieve the objectives of the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative and to strengthen domestic tourism, sector-specific skilling and entrepreneurship development will be dovetailed.

The “Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative was launched as an appeal by the Prime Minister to the middle class to prefer domestic tourism over international tourism while ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ was launched for integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits,” FM Sitharaman said.

Whereas, under the Vibrant Villages Programme, tourism will be encouraged in the border villages and tourism infrastructure and amenities will be facilitated.

She said that the states will be encouraged to set up a ‘Unity Mall’ in the state capital or the most popular tourist destination in the state for the promotion and sale of ‘One District, One product’ (ODOP) and Geographical Indication (GI) products and other handicrafts.

“States would be encouraged to set up such Unity Mall in the capital city or most prominent tourism centre or the financial capital and also provide space for ODOPs and GI products of other states as well,” it was added.

“The country offers immense attraction for domestic as well as foreign tourists. There is a large potential to be tapped in tourism,” the FM said.

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