Excerpts from an exclusive interaction with Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel by Komal Hora, in which Shri Patel shared his vision to elevate the Indian Tourism and Hospitality Industry by showcasing and featuring the Indian culture and heritage at the global level.
Hospitality Lexis / Print Edition November 2019
Tourism as a stream is something that people explore and love to know about, it is bound to grow to the new height if it is reinforced by the rich culture and the legacy. India is blessed with the 5,000 years old culture and heritage, which attracts tourists from all across the globe to visit. From ancient times, India is known for its hospitality essence to have a blend of culture and heritage. Indian Culture authenticates hospitality through its unique and ancient elements like a unique traditional guest welcoming, uniform, and cuisines. To serve the original experience to the guest in the true essence of the Indian tourism and hospitality industry by showcasing the culture and tradition of India at the global platform. Under the leadership of visionary Icon, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism & Culture, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Indian tourism and hospitality industry is opening new horizons by mirroring the rich culture and tradition of India globally. Statue of Unity has made the remarkable effect on world tourism. It is the symbol of pride for the entire nation as well as Indian tourism at global space. In less than a year time, it has witnessed the footfall of more than 20 lakh visitors. Custodian of Indian culture, heritage and tourism Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel is himself an iconic man because of his firm determination and global vision.
“The custodian of heritage, culture & tourism”
Atithi Devo Bhava
“Be it the slogan of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “Atithi Devo Bhava” this is the gift of India. Our behaviour, attitude towards tourists is important and all these traits show if we really treat our tourists as God and enduring on our statement of “Atithi Devo Bhava” – Honourable Minister Prahlad Singh Patel.
India has been considered a culturally rich country with diverse food habitats, traditions, beliefs, social customs etc, all of these diversities makes the country unique in itself, but even after many variants there is one thing common in the religions practised in India i.e “Atithi Devo Bhavah”. Indian culture from decades has been pure and highly genuine towards guest welcoming. With time it turns out to be a prominent commercial area called The Indian Hospitality Industry. In India, the traditional services which are of a routine nature and confined, inbuilt and inherent within the family culture as one’s own tradition, have transformed into promising professional activity demanding the marketing industry. With the emergence of technologies and upcoming ways of greeting and hosting a guest experience, the hotel industry can make wonder in exhibiting the Indian authentic culture back into its position. The hospitality industry is the conspicuous medium of exchanging Indian culture and heritage in the context of the whole guest experience. We exchange cultures on a large scale with arrivals from different country’s tourists in ours and vice-versa. The hospitality industry is a major source of letting people experience authentic Indian culture which can make the world adapt to the cultures of India. Atithi Devo Bhava should nor merely be a concept, it needs to translate into reality and become one of our most important engine of economic growth. Hopefully, Atithi Devo Bhava will be the ongoing mantra in a new avatar.
In the global tourism industry, increased competition for tourists has scuppered in many countries, cities and organizations to specialize in development that will give them an edge over their competitors. If a destination can recognize and satisfy the desire and wants of tourists, these tourists well presumably make repeat visits and spread emphatic word of mouth publicity. India is profoundly rated for its magnificent art forms and cultural heritage. However, annoyance like cheating, begging unhygienic conditions, lack of safety dampens the spirits of tourists. India can be positioned on the world tourist map only after these factors are improved along with other motivators. India is regarded less highly than it deserves to be by the outside world. The image it portrays is that of mysticism, political instability, terrorism, communal discord and bluffing. This type of image plays a crucial role for tourists to avoid visiting India. Indian Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel discussed the perspective of marketing prerequisite for India with Hospitality Lexis. India can develop its image as a cultural destination- an image which is fairly well established. For this we don’t need money rather we need to clear our image and perception as a tourist destination.‘One key to successful tourism is a certain relief of change in perception’
“India has everything to bestow, we have history, we have a rich culture, we have such former things from before Christ period. Each & every time I meet a foreign tourist I always ask them about what negative they are taking from our country, I believe mishaps do take place in any journey but if the citizens and the government employees support them in need and at the right time that will definitely change their perception to good and they’ll only say that incidents happened but the government is very active in this type of grievances and provide all needful assistance to our guests. Our behaviour, attitude, and mindset towards them is important”- said Hon. Minister Prahlad Singh Patel “Sankalp mei vikalp nahi hota” (The Resolution doesn’t seek any option)
“In my term as the tourism minister, I will continue to hold deliberations with the media so that ideas and issues are brought to us”
Sardar Patel played a key role in the integration of the princely states into India. Patel’s vision was to make India a united country, because of his strong will and determination we are living in the nation which is united and strong. If we look back to our history, Indian culture always considered the entire world as a family. Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel is elevating the industry with the firm determination to craft India as the global tourism destination. Under his leadership, the entire industry is working towards a common goal with the same vision. MoT Shri Patel mentions ‘Resolution doesn’t seek any option’ and his report card reflects the same. India is striving to provide all the facilities to the overseas guests to make them feel like a home experience. In this process, each and every individual needs to contribute to achieving our dream to become a world destination. Being an human being if we go deeper into our roots we end up being related to each other. So, while working for the betterment of the nation everyone should keep a firm resolution to keep nation above all.
One cannot separate Tourism and Culture
“When we’re considering tourism, then one cannot separate tourism and culture, you can only execute tourism by keeping both aspects together. Whenever a tourist arrives he first understands Indian culture, from our food habits to our attire, our way of talking to our behaviour, so one cannot diverge culture and tourism separately. The tourist arriving in our country take something or the other from the journey and possibly something which he hasn’t ever heard and lived in his life. So, this is the recognition of India across the globe as a tourist place. Indian culture has its own uniqueness and beauty with diversity. As the flag bearer of the nation, it’s our responsibility to spread the aura of our rich culture and heritage across the globe”
The human mind has an inborn bent towards travel. The purpose of leaving a place and travelling to other places is eternally to research something exhilarating. Tourism and culture were perceived as a largely separate aspect earlier, cultural resources were seen as a portion of the cultural heritage of destinations, related to the pedagogy of the local population and the foundation of local or national cultural identities. Cultural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions in a tourism destination. Tourism, on the other hand, was largely viewed as a leisure-related activeness sovereign from everyday life and the culture of the local population. This moderately changed towards the end of the century, as the role of cultural attractions in motivating tourists and differentiating destinations from one another become more obvious. The growing articulation between culture and tourism was stimulated over time. These attraction correlates to a set of distinctive material, intellectual, spiritual and emotional features of a society that encompasses arts and architecture, historical and cultural heritage, culinary heritage, literature, music and the living cultures with their lifestyles value systems, beliefs, and traditions. Cultural ethics for Tourism promotes tourism as an underpinning the ‘Unity in Diversity’.
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