SRINAGAR: India under its G20 presidency is all set to hold the third Tourism Working Group(TWG) meeting in Kashmir from 22nd to 24th May 2023.
Briefing the media at SKICC Srinagar on Sunday Secretary Ministry of Tourism Arvind Singh, said that the stage for discussions and deliberations is all set in Srinagar.
He said that during the third TWG meeting, all the G20 members will be discussing the broader aspects of using the GOA Roadmap for boosting Tourism to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The deliberations will also be held on G20 Tourism Ministers’ Declaration.
This is the only working group meeting taking place in Srinagar as part of the G20 effort with excellent response from all the member countries, all the invited countries, and the international organisations, having the highest participation registered compared to the first two Tourism Working Group Meetings at Rann of Kutch and Siliguri, he said.
Arvind Singh further said, G20 member countries, invited countries and international organizations will give valuable inputs and feedback on these two draft documents and after negotiations with G20 Member Countries on these drafts, final versions will be placed in the ‘Fourth Tourism Working Group Meeting’.
Singh informed, the ‘3rd Tourism Working Group Meeting’ will deliberate on the five key priority areas namely Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, MSMEs and Destination Management. These priorities are key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and achieving the targets for 2030 SDGs.
Arvind Singh said that a side event on ‘Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation’ will be organized on 22nd and 23rd May 2023, focusing on strategies to promote film tourism in J&K. The event will witness the participation of G20 member countries, invited countries, international organizations, and industry stakeholders. He also said that a draft ‘National Strategy on Film Tourism’ will be unveiled to provide a roadmap for harnessing the role of films in promoting tourist destinations.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Chief Coordinator G20 said, the broader objectives of Tourism Working Group is to present India’s rich and diverse cultural identity to the world and to promote the tourism potential of India.
“PM Modi’s vision is to ensure that the message of India’s G20 Presidency is taken down the grassroots level through Jan Bhagidari process and lot of efforts were made to sensitize the people of this country about G20,” he said.
Chief Secretary J&K, Arun Mehta said, the change in JK is evident on ground with the arrival of the highest number of tourists (18.8 million) in 2022.
“With the increasing influx of tourists into the UT, 300 new tourist destinations will come up in Jammu and Kashmir and each destination will have something different to offer them,” Mehta said.
Mehta further said, the influx of the highest number of foreign tourists to Jammu and Kashmir is a healthy sign for tourism in J&K. During the 3rd Tourism Working Group meeting, the delegates will also visit 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 have ‘hands-on’ experience through DIY Activities at the Craft Bazaar.
During the press conference, it was also informed that the Ministry of Tourism is also promoting local products of Jammu and Kashmir by giving souvenirs like Paper Mache Box, Saffron from Pampore, Kawa Cups and Brass Spoon, Walnuts from Anantnag, Shopian and Kupwara to the delegates.
The G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar aims to strengthen economic growth, preserve cultural heritage, and promote sustainable development of the region.