The future of travel in India looks exciting! During the 2023 Union Budget, on February 1, it was announced that a series of measures will be taken up to facilitate and develop tourism in India. Airports, unity malls and special schemes will be implemented throughout the year, with a focus on improving domestic travel.
Finance minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, said that initiatives will be taking place in the upcoming year to improve travel and tourism within India. Here’s the highlight of all the important steps the government will be taking for India’s tourism sector.
This was Nirmala Sitharaman’s fifth budget presentation and the second in a paperless format. During her speech, she emphasised India’s potential for tourism and how the country offers an immense attraction for domestic and foreign tourists. She added that the promotion of tourism will be in “mission mode”.
How Union Budget 2023-24 will improve tourism in India
Development of 50 tourist destinations
In her speech, Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned that 50 destinations will be developed to make them more tourist-friendly. The destinations will be selected through “challenge mode”. Major factors like physical connectivity of the destination, tourists’ security, virtual connectivity and more will be looked at with the focus to develop it as a “complete package”. This will be done keeping in mind domestic and foreign travellers.
Focus on encouraging domestic tourism
Initiatives like ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ and Vibrant Villages Programme have been launched to promote domestic tourism. ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ scheme focuses on encouraging the middle class to choose domestic travel over international. ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ plans to create “integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits”. The Vibrant Village Programme will develop tourism infrastructure in border villages.
Promote eco-tourism opportunities
The Union Budget also focused on preservation and conservation. ‘Amrit Dharohar’ scheme plans to support the optimal use of wetlands, enhance biodiversity and encourage ecotourism opportunities within the area.
Starting Unity Malls
In an effort to promote local handicraft products, states will be encouraged to set up Unity malls at prominent tourism centres. These malls will display the state’s own ODOPS (one district, one product) and other GI products.
More airports and improvement of railways
The Union Budget also added that 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and more such landing grounds will be developed. Furthermore, INR 2.40 lakh crores have been allocated to the railways.
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