Home / News / India /  Tourism working group meeting under India’s G20 presidency begins at Dhordo

NEW DELHI : The first three-day Tourism Working Group Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency began on Tuesday at Dhordo in Kutch, Gujarat with a side event of panel discussion on ‘Rural Tourism for Community Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation’.

Delivering the keynote address Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER G.K Reddy said that it is a matter of great honour and responsibility for India to assume G20 presidency at this critical moment when the world is facing a number of challenges. 

Union Minister also highlighted the fact that India is focused on using tourism as a vehicle for achieving Sustainable Development Goals during India’s G20 Presidency.   

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, G.K Reddy said that “ The soul of India lives in its villages" and thus by showcasing our villages, country’s way of life , country’s spiritual and cultural heritage and country’s natural beauty is being showcased. 

The minister also said that Self reliant villages will lead to a self-reliant India. 

Reddy said that tourism has the potential for generating maximum number of jobs with least investment and therefore tourism can be a positive force for economic transformation, rural development and community well being. 

Giving the example of Pochampally village in Telangana which has been declared as one of the best tourism villages by UNWTO, the Union Minister said that Indian villages are already receiving global recognition for rural tourism. 

Reddy also stressed upon the fact that tourism provides a channel for Enabling the sale of local products and services, Empowering the youth to become entrepreneurs; Employing women, and dis-advantaged communities such as tribals and thus leading to community empowerment and Poverty alleviation.  Union Minister informed that the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for the first time has come up with a draft on National strategy and roadmap for the development of Rural Tourism which is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Self-Reliant India’’ or ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. 

The panellists gave presentations and held discussions highlighting the best practices, success stories prospects , opportunities and issues in the field of Rural tourism.   More than 100 delegates are attending the 1st Tourism Working Group meeting at Dhordo, Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Five priority areas in the tourism sector have been identified during India’s G-20 Presidency, which will constitute the key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and will achieve the targets for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The delegates were given warm, colorful and traditional welcome which included performance by folk artists at Bhuj Airport as well as at the tent city, Dhordo, Rann of Kutch.  The panel discussion was attended by representatives from Indonesia, Italy , Spain ,Japan , ILO along with UNEP. From India, Representatives from government of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Nagaland along with OYO and Global Himalayan Expedition participated in the discussion.   Among other topics discussions and presentations were held on Women Empowerment through Homestays, Community based Eco Tourism and The Rural Tourism model of Rann of Kutch.

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