Giving COVID-19 vaccines to 140 nations will have positive impact on India's tourism: Prahlad Patel

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Kevadia (Gujarat), Feb 12 (PTI) India providing COVID-19 vaccines to over 140 countries will have a 'positive impact' on its tourism, said Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel on Friday.

Virtually addressing a ceremony at Kevadia on the lauch of a three-day annual convention of the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), hoped that Indian tourism industry will be soon up and running like before, and 'climb from the present 34th position to the top spot'.

'India, following its age-old philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam (the world is one family), is providing vaccines to over 140 countries... This will have a positive impact on the country's tourism sector, something that is visible right now,' said Patel.

Apart from the flights operating under air bubble arrangement, regular international flights has been shut since last year due to the pandemic.

Patel said that domestic travel has witnessed a 'major boost' after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Dekho Apna Desh' campaign.

Under this campaign, the prime minister has urged Indians to visit at least 15 domestic destinations by the year 2022.

The Indian travel and tourism industry has been one of the worst-hit due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2019 report, India ranks 34th on world travel and tourism competitiveness index.

Tourism secretary Arvind Singh, who was the chief guest at the event near the Sardar Patel Statue of Unity, echoed the minister's sentiment.

He said 2021 is showing some positive signs, courtesy drop in COVID-19 positive cases and the subsequent easing out of restrictions for travellers.

'The encouraging news on vaccines has further boosted hopes for recovery. All means of travel, airlines, trains and highways have reported regular increase in visitors traffic. Domestic Tourism is the way forward and it will help in revival of the sector,' he noted.

Touted to be the first such physical tourism-industry related event amid the pandemic, the three-day convention aims at building public confidence to travel for the revival of domestic tourism in the country.

Jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism and ADTOI, with support from Gujarat Tourism, it is attended by around 400 delegates including ADTOI members, hoteliers, airlines representatives and senior government officials. PTI MG NSD NSD