G20 Tourism Priorities Highlighted at Rann of Kutch Meeting

The first Tourism Working Group meeting under India’s G20 presidency took place from February 7th to 10th at the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat and ended today. The meeting comprised of an inaugural session, working group discussions on five priorities, bilateral meetings, excursion visits, and two side events.

The side events included a panel discussion on the theme of “Rural Tourism for Community Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation” and a presentation by Shri Miya Hussain Gul Beg, Head of Dhordo Village, on the positive effects of tourism development and promotion activities in the area.

The inaugural session was attended by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendra Bhai Patel, and the Union Ministers G. Kishan Reddy and Parshottam Rupala, who shared their views on tourism in India, government initiatives, tourist safety, digitization in the sector, and its impact on the local economy and employment.

During the working group meetings, discussions centered around five priority themes including Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs, and Destination Management, all of which were endorsed by the G20 Members, guest countries, and international organizations.

On the final day, another side event was held on the theme of “Promotion of Archaeological Tourism: Discovering Shared Cultural Heritage,” where speakers discussed the conservation of archaeological sites and the benefits of promoting archaeological tourism for local communities.

The delegates had a chance to experience the local culture, including yoga at sunrise, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site at Dholavira, familiarizing themselves with Kutchi art, participating in a dance performance, and visiting the earthquake memorial museum in Bhuj.

The Tourism Working Group will reconvene for three more meetings, including a ministerial in Goa, where the Ministerial Level Communique and the Goa Roadmap for Tourism will be developed as a means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Three mega-events are also planned, including the Global Tourism Investors’ Summit in April/May in New Delhi, the MICE Global Conference in May, and the G20 Tourism CEO Forum in June.

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