Domestic tourists gain importance in Rajasthan’s plans


Domestic travellers willing to explore historical monuments and rural landscapes are gaining importance in the plans of the tourism industry and government departments in Rajasthan during the downtrend in new COVID-19 cases. Several schemes and campaigns have been launched here to attract domestic tourists from neighbouring States.

The new initiatives in the tourism sector include options for domestic tourists in cultural tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism and desert tourism, as well as the proposed resumption of the highly acclaimed luxury train, the ‘Palace on Wheels’. The Tourism Department has adopted the motto, “short stay, safe stay”, to draw in the target group.

About 2.93 lakh domestic tourists have visited monuments, museums and tourist destinations in the State since June 1 this year. Since the crisis caused by the pandemic had created a need for policy-level intervention, the State government would adopt a vision to explore the tourism sector’s potential to support economic development, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Alok Gupta said here on Tuesday.

“Eyeing domestic tourists, the stakeholders are not just looking at the demand for venues where work and vacation could be combined, but they also expect to develop newer tourist experiences for local travellers,” Mr. Gupta said. The concept of “weekend getaways” has received a special attention in the State’s policy, he said.

The State’s tourism industry is also counting on the increased focus on rural tourism, which offers experiences from the countryside. Mr. Gupta said policy support would ensure the development of infrastructure and hospitality skills in villages, and the showcasing of local arts and crafts for tourists.

In 2019, 5.2 crore domestic tourists and 16 lakh foreign tourists arrived in Rajasthan. With COVID-19 disrupting the tourism chain, international tourism is likely to take some time to return to normalcy, while domestic tourists are expected to explore the suburbs more, and visit the lesser known destinations.

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