PM says local tourism picking up, urges startups to work on innovative products


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged startups to work on innovative tourism products as the sector has thrown up a great opportunity in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since the global pandemic has affected international travel, people are going to nearby places. This is a great opportunity for us. On one hand, this means added livelihood to those in the local tourism industry,” the prime minister said at the launch of India’s first full-fledged international cruise terminal in Kochi, Kerala.

Domestic tourism, he said, also bonded the youth to “our culture.” He urged citizens to use this time (pandemic) to travel to as many nearby areas as possible. “You would be happy to know that the tourism sector in India has been growing well in the last five years. In the World Tourism Index ranking, India moved from sixty fifth to thirty fourth position. But, there is a lot more to be done and I am confident we will improve even more,” he said.

Sagarika, the international cruise terminal, Modi said, will cater to over a lakh cruise guests.

The Centre, through the national infrastructure pipeline, was investing Rs 110 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector with a special focus on coastal areas, the Northeast and the mountain areas. The government is also focusing on broad-band connectivity in every village as well as the blue economy.

The government was making efforts to make India a hub for sea-food exports. “I am happy that seaweed farming is gaining popularity. I would call upon researchers and innovators to share their ideas on making the fisheries sector more vibrant. This would be a great tribute to our hardworking fishermen,” the prime minister said.

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