Addressing the Press Briefing in New Delhi today on two key deliverables of the 3rd G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting, Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism said that all G20 members would submit their suggestions in writing by 26th May, 2023 which will form part of the final draft of the roadmap prepared in consultation with UNWTO that will be presented at the 4th Tourism Working Group Meeting to be held in Goa in June followed by the tourism declaration at the Ministerial Meet.
The Secretary, talking about the 3rd Tourism Working Group Meeting, said that many successful side events were organised during the meeting which witnessed high quality discussions from national and international delegates and experts. The delegates were also shown local arts and handicrafts, and also had an interaction with the artisans. The delegates were also taken for sightseeing in Srinagar where they saw the old Mughal Gardens, the Pari Mahal, and the newly renovated Polo View Market under Smart city Mission. Cultural nights were also held for the delegates in collaboration with the state government, added the Secretary.
Under India’s G20 Tourism Track, the Tourism Working Group is working on five inter-connected priority areas, which are Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Destination. These priorities are key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and achieve the targets for 2030 SDGs. There are two key deliverables of the Tourism Working Group, which are GOA Roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development goals and G20 Tourism Ministers’ Declaration.
The Ministry of Tourism has made positive progress on finalizing the two key deliverables of the Tourism Working Group. During this meeting, G20 member countries, invited countries, and international organizations gave valuable inputs and feedback on these two draft documents. After negotiations with G20 Member Countries on these drafts, final versions will be placed in the fourth Tourism Working Group meeting and Ministerial meeting.
A side event on ‘Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation’ was organized on 22nd May 2023, focusing on strategies to promote film tourism. The event was addressed by Shri. Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, Government of India. He emphasised that potential of Jammu and Kashmir to grow as tourism destination that will encourage employment generation in the UT. He remembered how the destination has served as a perfect landscape to create some of the memorable movies of India such as Kashmir ki Kali, Lakshya, Haider, and many more.
Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State, Science and Technology, Government of India addressed the audience by taking them back to iconic movies shot in Srinagar He highlighted that the movies used the natural beauty of Jammu and Kashmir to create many emotions in the movies of India.
Shri. G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region, Government of India, welcomed the G20 delegates and addressed the audience by highlighting diverse beauty and culture of India that makes it a perfect destination to create films. He mentioned that films create strong impact to drive tourism in the country. The potential of Jammu and Kashmir in creative industry has always been explored by filmmakers which attracted many tourists to the destination. He expressed his gratitude towards G20 delegates for the participation and encouraged exchange of knowledge and best practices.
The event was graced with the presence of famous Ram Actor, Producer, and Entrepreneur, Ram Chara. He remembered his days of shooting in Jammu and Kashmir for movie Dhruv. He emphasised although the destination is yet unexplored in terms of shooting films, the new places of the destinations need to be approached responsibly. The conservation of local ecology, wildlife, and protection of culture needs to taken into account to keep the beauty of the destination intact. He deliberated upon a huge impact of films on destination to educate the masses about real culture and hidden places of India.
The draft ‘National Strategy on Film Tourism’ was unveiled which will provide a roadmap for harnessing the role of films in promoting tourist destinations. It was followed by a panel discussion with G20 member countries including Spain, Singapore, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and India. The panel deliberated upon the impact of Film Tourism for economic benefits and its role in promoting the destination globally. It was followed by a presentation by Shri Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Secretary, Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir on the local perspective of Jammu and Kashmir as a tourism destination offering diverse destination and experiences for Film Tourism. The event was concluded by Shri Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism by highlighting that the Ministry of Tourism will carry forward the work to promote and develop the Film Tourism in the country. He appreciated the efforts and thanked the all the stakeholders to make the Side Event under the 3rd Tourism Working Group, a successful endeavour.
The second day of the Third Tourism Working Group started with inaugural session which was addressed by Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and DoNER, Shri G.Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Lt. Governor of the UT of J&K Sh. Manoj Sinha and G20 Sherpa Sh. Amitabh Kant.
In his opening remarks, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER, Shri G.K Reddy highlighted the significant progress made by Tourism Working Group in the last two meetings and informed that five priorities of the Tourism Working Group have been fully endorsed by G20 member countries, invited countries, and International organizations. He expressed that the TWG is moving closer to finalising the outcome document – GOA Roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Ministers’ Declaration, two key deliverables of India’s G20 Tourism Track.
The Union Minister for Science and Technology during his address informed the gathering of the huge tourism potential of Jammu & Kashmir and the variety of landscape, art, culture, handicrafts etc. He also highlighted the unique infrastructure created for enhancing the tourism in the UT. The Minister for Science and Technology also reiterate the five priorities of the Tourism Working Group and expressed that Goa roadmap will act as a guiding document the sector and its stakeholders.
The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir also graced the inaugural session and during his address recognized the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism to hold such global event in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. He informed the delegates about the varied & beautiful topography of the region and emphasized on the importance of tourism for the growth and development of local communities.
The first session of the 3rd TWG meeting commenced with the address of Tourism Secretary who also chaired the meeting. The session included discussion on the 2nd draft of GOA Roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The document being curated by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India with assistance of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). During the 2nd session in the afternoon the G20 chair, India, introduced the Minister’s Declarations. The representatives of G20 countries, invited countries, international organizations shared their inputs on both documents GOA Roadmap and Ministers Declaration, the key deliverables of G20 TWG meeting under India’s presidency.
Concluding the meeting, Chair (India) expressed towards all the G20 Member countries, guest countries, International Organizations for endorsing the five priorities and successfully conducting the meeting.
In addition to the main meeting, on the second day, two side events were also organized to provide an opportunity to Indian States/UTs, Industry Stakeholders, national and international experts, and academia to deliberate on ‘Film Tourism’ and ‘Eco Tourism’.
The first side event titled “Promoting Incredible India through Film Tourism” was organised to leverage the power of Film Tourism to promote destinations.During the side event, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry was signed for promotion and development of Film Tourism in India in the presence of Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER Shri G.K Reddy and Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh.
The side event provided a platform for Indian states and union territories to showcase their successful policies and practices in the realm of film tourism. Representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh presented their state’s film tourism policies. The side event also had a panel discussion on “Opportunities, Challenges, and Enablers for Incredible India as a hub for film tourism,” explored the success of India as a film tourism destination and identified opportunities for further development.
The second side event titled ‘Ecotourism as a vehicle to achieve sustainable development goal’ to deliberate on various challenges and opportunities for developing Ecotourism in the country following the principles of sustainability. The event saw ‘Launch of Travel for LiFE Programme’ in presence of Shri. G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER, Shri Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Shri Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Tourism and Shri. Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa.
Esteemed speakers and experts presented and discussed various topics like Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment Study, Key Areas of Capacity Building for Ecotourism, Ecotourism Product & Destination Development Around Wildlife Conservation, etc.
During the side event, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism and Confederation of Indian Industry was signed for promotion and development of Ecotoursim in India in the presence of Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER, Shri G.K Reddy and Union Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh.
Representatives from Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka presented their successful practices, effective policies and strategies to develop Ecotourism, local perspective for development of Eco-Tourism, and key strategies to onboard stakeholders, develop right Ecotourism products, respectively.
The day concluded with cultural evening and dinner for all the delegates and invitees at Vivanta by Taj, with a view of Dal Lake in Srinagar.
The delegates also experienced the ‘Shikara’ ride – a traditional gondola-type light rowing boat, at the pristine ‘Dal’ lake and enjoyed viewing sunset . Delegates also had the opportunity to experience the local attractions like Nishad garden , Polo Market, Pari Mahal . After the session the delegates participated in local DIY activities.
During the 3rd Tourism Working Group meeting, the delegates visited the Art and Craft Bazaar
organized by the State Government showcasing local handicrafts, work of artisans, signifying the importance of community participation. The Delegates will also had ‘hands-on’ experience through DIY Activities at the Craft Bazaar like papier mache, Basholi paintings, willow craft, embroidery, pashmina weaving, and experienced making of local handicrafts etc. The delegates also purchased GI-tagged local handicrafts.
The Ministry of Tourism is also promoting local products of Jammu and Kashmir by handing the below souvenirs to Delegates from ODOP.
- Paper Mache Box is the common themes that appear on Kashmiri paper mache products include flowers, box patterns,
- Saffron from Pampore – Srinagar, is referred to as the ‘saffron capital of India’.
- Kawa cups and Brass Spoon – It has been a part of Kashmir’s cuisine since ages.
- Walnuts are from Anantnag, Shopian and Kupwara – Walnuts of Kashmir, are popular across India and even exported around the world.
Towards the end of every Tourism Working Group day, a cultural extravaganza was organized for the delegates. The programme showcased the cultural richness of the region in the form of various music and dances like Rouf, Chakkri, Pahadi dance, Dogri dance, Bhadarwahi etc. The delegates enjoyed the local cuisine of Kashmiri Wazwan.