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The new Tourism Policy Draft, which was put on public domain by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India for comments and suggestions, proposes including tourism in the Concurrent List of the Constitution to make it part of the national agenda. This, according to the Draft, will help elevate the sector to a priority one on the national agenda. “National prioritisation of the sector is critical to ensure focus, investment, alignment, and competitiveness as precursors to maximising the impact of the tourism sector for the benefit of India at large,” the Draft says. Including tourism in the Concurrent List will enable the Centre and states to effectively legislate and demark clear roles for the Centre and states/Union Territories (UTs).

While the new policy will imbibe and incorporate the futuristic vision of the earlier Tourism Policy of 2002, it will ensure comprehensive action plan to achieve the goals, which was lacking in the earlier policy. For effective delivery of the New Tourism Policy 2015, tourism development has to take place for economic development, by aligning and activating cooperative and synergised thinking at all levels, namely states, UTs, local administration, and the civil society at large. The policy proposes Public-Private-Peoples Participation (PPPP) framework for Sustainable Tourism development going forward.

In order to achieve the targets of increased tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings, efforts need to be supported by adequate budgetary allocations for tourism. Although the amount allocated for the development of tourism has risen, it remains negligible as part of the total outlay of the five-year plans and vis-à-vis the opportunity for accelerated growth of the tourism economy. From being 0.04 per cent, the highest allocation the tourism industry has witnessed is in the 12th five-year plan, which is about 0.35 per cent.