The Union tourism ministry and industry stakeholders have taken up the task to impart training to those in the sector working at the grassroots to hone their skills ahead of the upcoming G20 meetings to be held across the country next year during India’s presidency of the global forum.
“The ministry is conducting capacity building training programmes and workshops for various segments of tourism industry stakeholders and service providers, including those in other professions but come in contact with tourists. These are being held as a part of preparations for the G20 meetings in India,” G. Kishan Reddy, the Union tourism minister, said in the Lok Sabha.
In 2023, around 200 G20 meets would be held in 56 different locations in the country, including Darjeeling and Siliguri.
The central government, sources said, intends to use this opportunity to showcase Indian tourism destinations before foreign delegates.
On Sunday, one such training programme was held in Siliguri by the tourism ministry in association with the Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators’ Association (EHTTOA).
Around 200 participants, including guides, cab drivers, waiters and hotel front desk staff attended the training.
“The idea is to improve their professional expertise so that they provide the best service to guests who come here during the G20 meets. We want to ensure that guests have the best experience,” said Debasish Maitra, the president of EHTTOA.
Sources in the tourism ministry said there are plans to train rickshaw pullers, police personnel, immigration staff at airports, porters and others posted at different monuments.
Minister Reddy has also informed Parliament that his ministry formulated a draft of the new national tourism policy to promote India as a yearlong destination, create jobs and boost private investment in the sector.
Ministry data says India earned Rs 2.1 lakh crore as foreign exchange from tourism in 2019, which reduced with the outbreak of the pandemic to Rs 50,000 crore in 2020 and Rs 65,000 crore in 2021.