Union Minister for Tourism, K.J. Alphons today presented the National Tourism Awards on the World Tourism Day, in New Delhi. The Minister also launched the ‘Incredible India Mobile App’ and the “Incredible India Tourist Facilitators Certification” programme.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that tourism is the cornerstone of the Indian economy, as it is a major source of employment and foreign exchange, and in order to tap the full potential of this sector, industry has to join hands. Congratulating the awardees, Alphons also shared the concern that the tourism sector needs to improve its hospitality services since it is the hospitality offered which is the distinguishing feature of India and gives it an edge over other countries.
The Minister also announced that, India will be the host country for official World Tourism Day celebrations for the UNWTO, in 2019. The theme for the World Tourism Day 2018 being “Tourism & Digital Transformation”, the Minister recounted the various digital initiatives taken by the Ministry in harnessing technology for tourism promotion, which include, launch of a new Incredible India website; 24 X7 Chat bot interface on this website; launch of a new website on Buddhism in India and many more initiatives..
The Minister also said that the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a voluntary scheme for Approval of Operational Motels, with effect from 25th September 2018 with an aim of recognizing the Motel segment as a component of the overall tourism product, and set standards of facilities and services of Motels.