Terming the general budget as a tourism-friendly budget, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Prahlad Singh Patel said that with increased allocation in the budget of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism the tourism sector is expected to grow rapidly as the budget emphasizes on the rail, road and air connectivity.
Patel has been working towards getting global recognition to the tourist destinations in the country. His focus is especially on Leh-Ladakh and Kargil. He is the first minister of the Modi cabinet who has spent a night at Kargil.
In an exclusive interview to IANS on Monday, he said, “For the first time in the budget, an allocation has been made for the iconic site scheme. Two important schemes of the Ministry of Tourism – ‘Prasad’ and ‘Swadesh Darshan’ – have also been continued. This will boost the tourism sector which was adversely affected due to Covid. The budget shows that the Modi government is focussed towards the tourism sector.”
According to Patel, rail, road and air connectivity is directly related to tourism. Not only domestic but also international tourists want good connectivity. The Union Minister said, “We need to develop our tourist destinations global for which connectivity is extremely important. The budget calls for the handing over the small cities to the airport authorities which is really a big and an important decision. Connectivity is really important for Tier II and III cities. This will surely boost tourism in the country.”
He also talked about strengthening of wellness tourism through wellness centres. He said, “India is the most preferred destination for wellness tourism. We have yoga, Ayush etc. but there was a shortage of wellness centres. Now there is a provision of developing thousands of wellness centres which will yield good results. This budget will promote wellness tourism in India.”