Days after announcing several measures in the Union Budget 2023 to promote tourism on “mission mode”, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in an interview with Network18 on February 3 that she hopes to see a “sea of changes” in the tourism sector.
Speaking about the impact of the announcements made in the Budget vis-à-vis the tourism sector, the finance minister said: “If well executed and if the states and the Centre work together, I expect tourism to see a sea of change and inflow of both domestic and foreign tourists. This will help keep the economy active.”
Check highlights of FM Nirmala Sitharaman's exclusive interview here
During her Budget 2023 speech, the FM had said that there is large potential to be tapped into tourism. "The sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth in particular. Promotion of tourism will be taken on mission mode with the active participation of states, the convergence of government programme and public-private partnership," Sitharaman said.
Also read: Budget 2023 booster for Indian toursim, Government to launch Dekho Apna Desh initiative to promote domestic tourism
"In addition to aspects such as physical connectivity, virtual connectivity, tourist guides, high standards for food streets, and tourist security, all the relevant aspects would be made available on an app to enhance the tourist experience. Every destination would be developed as a complete package," she said.
Also read: Budget 2023: Government to select 50 destinations, to promote tourism on mission mode
Commenting on Budget 2023's focus on the tourism sector, Manish Rathi, CEO & Co-founder, IntrCity SmartBus said that the National Tourism Policy will enable the tourism industry to contribute significantly towards the Government's mission to achieve an overall GDP contribution of $20 trillion by 2047.
Sabina Chopra, Co-Founder & COO, Corporate Travel & Head Industry Relations at Yatra.com said that the tourism sector is expected to hit 9.9 percent of the country’s GDP before the end of this decade.
Further, the Economic Survey, which was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on January 31, also noted that the tourism sector is showing signs of revival after two years of Covid-induced challenges, with foreign tourist arrivals in FY23 grew month-on-month with the resumption of international flights and the easing of COVID-19 regulations.