The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meet held in Goa via video message.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister invoked the spirit of Incredible India and said that the tourism ministers rarely get a chance to be tourists themselves even though they are handling a sector worth over two trillion dollars globally.
Reaffirmed their pivotal role in achieving SDG & driving development, innovation & cooperation in the tourism sector. Also, emphasised on the collective & collaborative approach in their implementation & to propel the tourism sector towards a brighter & more sustainable future.… pic.twitter.com/HE7WYRbKZH
— G Kishan Reddy (@kishanreddybjp) June 21, 2023
The Prime Minister said that India’s approach to tourism is based on the ancient Sanskrit verse ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’ which means ‘Guest is God’. The Prime Minister informed that India during its G-20 presidency is organizing nearly 200 meetings in 100 different locations all over the country making every experience different from the other. “If you ask your friends who have already visited India for these meetings, I am sure that no two experiences will be alike”, he added.
The Prime Minister underlined that India’s efforts in the tourism sector are centered on preserving its rich heritage while creating a world-class infrastructure for tourism. Noting that India attracts pilgrims of every major religion of the world, the Prime Minister emphasized the development of spiritual tourism as one of the focus areas. He informed that the infrastructure upgrade in the eternal city of Varanasi, one of the major spiritual centers, led to a ten-fold increase in pilgrims taking the number to 70 million today. He also underlined that India is creating new tourist attractions and gave the example of the Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world, which attracted about 2.7 million tourists within a year of its inauguration. The PM Modi expressed happiness that India is also recognizing the relevance of the tourism sector for the speedy achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
“Terrorism divides but Tourism unites”, the Prime Minister remarked. He said that tourism has the potential to unite people from all walks of life thereby creating a harmonious society. Shri Modi expressed happiness that a G20 Tourism dashboard is being developed in partnership with UNWTO which will be a first-of-its-kind platform bringing together best practices, case studies, and inspiring stories. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the deliberations and the ‘Goa Roadmap’ would multiply the collective efforts to realize tourism’s transformative power. PM added, “The motto of India’s G20 Presidency, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ can itself be a motto for global tourism”.