Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel will interact with state tourism ministers and senior officials on October 15 and 16 ahead of the peak tourist season, sources said on Thursday. The minister is expected to discuss the post COVID protocols and put plans in motion to ensure that the tourism sector opens up with safety measures in place.
The virtual meetings would see Patel interacting with tourism ministers of the northern and western states and Union territories on October 15 and those of the southern, eastern and northeastern states the next day, they said. These meetings are a part of confidence-building measures by the minister who has over the last two months met industry leaders and stakeholders of the travel and tourism sector.
The tourism sector has, according to industry estimates, suffered a loss of over Rs 5 lakh crore due to the coronavirus driven shutdown. The government has announced several stimulus packages for the sector, including extended moratorium from RBI on term loans till August 31, the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package’ of Rs 3 lakh crore, and easy PF withdrawals.
The central government has also rolled out relief from regulatory compliances under the Income Tax Act, Companies Act and the GST Act for different time frames in order to help with business continuity and survival. Last month, Patel held a brainstorming session on promotion of Incredible India campaign post COVID-19 with influencers and travel media organisations, assuring them that the ministry would help them in any way possible to speed up tourism-related activities.
First Published: IST