Konark (Odisha): The Ministry of Tourism has decided to award travelers who will visit 15 places in a year by sponsoring their travel expenses, said Union Minister of State for Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday.
“We will fund the travel expenses of the travellers who complete 15 destinations in a year and submit the photos to our website. But the condition is the person should travel out of his/her own state,” said Patel.
The Minister was addressing at the concluding ceremony of two-day long National Tourism Conference, organized by Odisha Government in association with industry body FICCI.
In the Paryatan Parv initiative of the Union Government, it has been promoted that a person should travel at least 15 tourist places of India by 2022.
The Ministry of Tourism intends to reward those who complete the task within a year.
“This should not be construed as a monetary benefit but as an incentive. We should honor these persons as the brand ambassador of Indian Tourism,” Patel added while delivering Vision Address to a packed auditorium at the Marine Drive Eco-Retreat designed at Konark.
In the event, FICCI urged that more tourist trains should be introduced to connect to tourist sites of India as well as Odisha.
“The Centre can coordinate with states to introduced more tourist trains to connect various undiscovered areas of India, said Soubhagya Mohapatra, Chairman of FICCI Eastern Tourism Committee.
Konark to be in iconic place list
Last year, there was a huge uproar in Odisha about heritage place Konark not making it to the list of Iconic Sites list by Ministry of Tourism, as a sum of Rs 5,000 crore was sanctioned for the development of these sites across India.
Union Minister Prahlad agreed that Konark should be included in the list.
“The people of Odisha will soon receive the good news about Konark being included in the list of iconic sites. We will organize a special event to announce the inclusion very soon,” Prahlad said in the event.
Odisha needs more trained guides
The Ministry of Tourism has been organizing certificate programmes for candidates intending to work as tourist guides. But the participation of Odisha in this programme is very low and it needs to be enhanced.
“Out of 3500 students trained by us, the total number of participants was only 5. Hence, Odisha government should encourage students and candidates to take part in the certificate course,” said Rupinder Brar, additional director general, Ministry of Tourism, Government of Odisha.
Odisha, Gujarat sign MoI
On the concluding day of the National Tourism Conference, a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed between the Government of Odisha and Government of Gujarat for cross-promotion of and tourist sites in both states as well as across India.
A formal Memorandum of Understanding mentioning key frameworks and policies will be signed soon after discussions with relevant departments of both the states, said Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav, director of Tourism, Government of Odisha.
During the day participants from states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, etc made a presentation on initiatives to promote tourism in their reactive states.