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To promote Indian tourist sites, the Centre is considering the appointment of “tourism officers” in each embassy and high commission.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture noted that the closure of the overseas tourist offices has negatively impacted Indian tourism in its most recent report, which was presented to both Houses of Parliament during the recently concluded special session, according to Parvez Sultan for The New Indian Express.

The report stated that “the Committee has been informed by the stakeholders that India did not figure in the brochures of the overseas tourism agents after the closure of the Overseas Tourist Officers, adversely impacting the prospects of Indian tourism.”

Following its request to know how many meetings had been held with them as well as the foreign tourism agents and business-to-business (B2B) players since their appointment, the Parliamentary Panel headed by V Vijayasai Reddy was also informed that the tourism officers had only one meeting with Indian stakeholders in the previous two years.

The Committee, which was made up of 31 MPs, then indicated a wish to look into the possibility of posting skilled and knowledgeable officers from the Ministry of Tourism to conduct awareness-raising and public relations campaigns in Missions. The panel also enquired into the backgrounds and tourist promotion training of the 20 countries’ newly recruited tourism officers.

In response, the Ministry said that the officers already dealt with the topic of promoting Indian culture and business, indicating that they had some domain knowledge. The MEA is currently reviewing a proposal to appoint tourism officers in all Missions.

The final seven operational overseas tourism offices were closed in March of this year after the shutdown of the offices started in 2018. Some Indian Missions had, however, asked for the reopening of their foreign tourism bureaus.
The duty of promoting Indian tourist destinations was given to the tourism officers, a first or second-secretary-rank official already working in the Indian diplomatic mission abroad, when the decision was made to abolish all overseas tourism offices.

In the report, the Committee also noted that, even after two years, negotiations on separate tourist budgets at the MEA’s disposal for promotional campaigns are still underway and recommended finding a quick solution.

“The Committee suggests that the Ministry of Tourism resolve the issues quickly so that the MEA has the resources and the plan necessary to move forward with the work related to promoting tourism. The panel report indicated that India’s exclusion from the tourism brochure is a significant problem without which it would be challenging to sustain the visibility of Indian tourist destinations.

Source- Travel biz
Link- https://travelbizmonitor.com/centre-to-appoint-tourism-officers-to-promote-destinations-abroad/


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