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Union Minister, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

 Picture used for representational purposes only.
Picture used for representational purposes only.

Union Minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh recently said that there is a need to adopt transformative strategies and new technologies to revive the tourism sector which was hit severely by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Minister of state for Education and External Affairs also emphasised on new avenues in the hospitality and tourism sector to reach out to travellers.

Religious tourism could be a way to attract travellers across India and also from foreign countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, which has a sizeable Buddhist population, he said.

“As Covid-19 swept the continents, people were virtually fighting a world war to save themselves and the leisure industry indicated a steep decline, amounting to USD 2.86 trillion, which quantified more than 50 per cent revenue loss,” Singh said after inaugurating a two-day programme – International Conference on Trends and Disruptions in Hospitality and Tourism – at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan, a deemed to be university in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

According to GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Augmented Reality in Travel & Tourism (2022)’, the industry is using AR to adapt to challenges such as last-minute cancellations by improving the booking experience. Guests looking to book hotel stays can visualise hotel rooms before they travel using AR, making it easier to pick the most suitable rooms, reducing cancellation frequency.

India’s relationship with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which had immense strategic and economic significance, could be leveraged to revive the tourism sector, he said.

Pointing out that BIMSTEC and ASEAN countries had a deep connection with Buddhism, Singh said the Buddhist tourist circuits in India could provide an impetus to the sector. The Minister also said innovations often come to the fore to solve a problem. “Tourism is one of the sectors with such innovation and growth potential,” he said. The conference, ‘Aatithya- Past, Present and Future 3.0’, was organised by the School of Hotel Management of the institute.

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