Observing that tourism is a major engine for economic growth and creation of employment, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday asked the corporate sector to supplement the efforts of governments in developing tourist destinations and promoting tourism in the country.
“From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, India has many scenic and pilgrimage destinations with relevance to Indian history, culture, mythology and heritage. There is a great scope and need to develop tourist circuits on specific themes to attract the tourists having special interest in visiting such places,” Naidu said, releasing Himalayan Odyssey, a book written by M P Veerendra Kumar, Rajya Sabha member and chairman and managing director of Mathrubhumi Group of publications.
Himalayan Odyssey is the English translation of Kumar’s Malayalam book Haimavathab-huvil, which had won Kendra Sahitya Akademi and Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards.
Arguing that “tourism is a major engine for economic growth and for creation of employment in sectors like hospitality, transport and empowers local communities”, Naidu said, “While the Central and state governments are doing their bit to develop tourist spots and promote tourism, I would like to suggest to the corporate sector to supplement the efforts of the governments.”
“As a matter-of-fact, corporate bodies like CII, FICCI and Assocham should identify tourism places which are less developed and fund their development and beautification. From pilgrim tourism to adventure tourism; from eco-tourism to wellness tourism, incredible India has plenty to offer. Wherever possible, PPP model should be implemented to make India one of the most attractive global tourist destinations,” he added.
He echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion that people, especially the youth, must visit at least 15 tourist destinations within India by 2022 to give boost to domestic tourism. “By going around the country, you will be knowing the history, culture, heritage…that will really help. That gives you knowledge….One of the reasons for my coming up in public life has been intensely touring around the country…meeting, greeting, talking, walking, spending time there….,” he said.
Talking about his book and rapid environmental degradation, Kumar said, “The Ganges is in danger, Will it last long? Six of the rivers, including Brahmaputra, Ganga, Yamuna…will its last this century?… we don’t know. Will we have enough oxygen to breath by the end of the century…we don’t know…we have to see that for our existence, nature has to exist.”