Tourism ministry working on safety and sanitisation certification1 min read . Updated: 19 May 2020, 07:39 PM IST
The first draft of the certification will be discussed on 20 May in a meeting with various state secretaries said Meenakshi Sharma, director general, Ministry of Tourism in a webinar
In a bid to revive traveller confidence in the tourism and hospitality industry which is badly hit by coronavirus outbreak, Ministry of Tourism is expected to bring out a certification which will lay down minimum standards of safety and sanitisation measures to be followed by industry players. The first draft of the certification will be discussed on 20 May in a meeting with various state secretaries said Meenakshi Sharma, director general, Ministry of Tourism in a webinar on Rebooting Indian Travel & Tourism organised by FICCI.
"There is a need for highlighting safety and sanitisation. We have already created guidelines which have been circulated to all the states. However, I think it is a good idea if the industry is ready to accept a certification. We have the first draft ready which will be discussed in the meeting and we will be immediately going forward with it," she said.
Sharma also said that the ministry is open to consider an industry led third party certification which will boost the confidence of travellers once normalcy returns and people start to book their holidays.
Noting that the diverse nature of travel and tourism sector does not warrant a regulatory mechanism, Sharma said that an industry agreed protocol would work.
"I don't think inspector raj or employing an enforcement force in a diverse sector like travel is possible. One cannot have same rules for a hotel and a homestay. However, we do need minimum standards of safety," she said.
Sharma was responding to fellow panelist and group chairman of MakeMyTrip Deep Kalra's suggestion about the need to create a standard protocol for the industry.
"We need one set of standards or protocol which is approved by the ministry for the entire industry. We could get one of the Big 4 auditing firms to create them. These standards should help establishments in the industry define minimum standards of safety and sanitisation that they have to adhere to," Kalra said.
Apart from certification, Sharma also highlighted the need for a positive PR and marketing campaign especially for the international markets to establish India as a safe destination. She also highlighted the need for opening up hotels for longer stays, engaging and incentivising tour operators and formalising the travel and tourism sector as an industry so that it can leverage help from the Centre.