India developing cleanliness framework to revolutionise tourism standards

The government is developing the ‘Swachhata (cleanliness) Rating Framework’ to assess all tourism businesses based on their standards of sanitation and hygiene, revealed Tourism Secretary V Vidyavathi. Speaking to PTI, she explained that the government is in the process of creating the ‘Sawcheta Rating Framework’ that adheres to the ‘Travel for Life’ principles, a component of the Sustainable Tourism Policy, with a focus on ensuring that establishments are clean and hygienic.

Vidyavathi elaborated, “The framework will encompass businesses of all sizes, with an emphasis on maintaining cleanliness and ensuring tidiness of their premises and surroundings. Ratings will be assigned based on several criteria, including waste disposal methods.”

However, she pointed out that this initiative is still under development, with the Tourism Ministry engaging in consultations with various relevant departments and stakeholders.

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Regarding the much-anticipated Tourism Policy, the secretary revealed that the government is actively working on it, aiming to align it more closely with the evolving requirements of the tourism sector.

“We are currently revising the Tourism Policy, fine-tuning our focus areas to adapt to changing tourism needs. We want this policy to be a collective effort, involving the government, industry, state governments, and travellers. We anticipate its release soon, with our target set for the end of the financial year 2024,” she added.

Vidyavathi emphasised that the tourism sector significantly contributes to employment opportunities across various sectors, emphasising that India’s fundamental offerings would revolve around culture, pilgrimage, and eco-tourism.

Furthermore, discussing the recent surge in the tourism sector, the secretary expressed her satisfaction with the post-Covid-19 recovery, noting that the industry has already reached approximately 80% of the pre-pandemic levels in terms of tourist footfalls.

“We anticipate surpassing pre-Covid levels by the conclusion of this financial year (FY24). The travel and tourism sector has made a strong comeback since the situation stabilised, and the G-20 Summit provided an additional boost to the industry. It is now our responsibility to sustain this momentum,” Vidyavathi remarked.

She also observed that India is witnessing a rise in inbound tourism, with tourists exploring a wider range of destinations across the country, including offbeat locations. The goal is to position India as a year-round tourist destination, highlighting the nation’s diverse offerings.

With inputs from agencies

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