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Dr EMS Natchiappan, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Government of India inaugurates Seminar on “Review of Laws relating to Tourism in India” at Amity Law School Noida

Amity Law School, Noida organized a day long Seminar on “Review of Laws relating to Tourism in India” at Amity Campus, Sector- 125, Noida to recommend the suggestions with reference to the areas in Tourism sector where there is absence or inadequacy of laws.

Dr EMS Natchiappan, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Government of India and Shri Shivendra Tomar, Director, IFCI inaugurated the Seminar.

 

Welcoming the august gathering, Maj. Gen. Nilendra Kumar- Director, Amity Law School, Noida said that Tourism is an indispensible part of the Indian economy. India is the centre of heritage, culture and tourism of the world and it attracts tourists from across the globe, thus accounting for a share of 0.38 of the world tourist traffic. Therefore, India needs to step up the safety of the tourists- domestic and international and maintenance of ancient sites and tourist spots is required.

 

Highlighting the rich cultural legacy of India which has been attracting foreign tourists, Dr EMS Natchiappan, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Government of India said that for ages India has been attracting tourists with its ancient monuments, knowledge treasury scenic beauty and other attractions. Tourism is a part of life and culture in India and has made India incredible. Hon’ble Minister, at the same time, lamented the dark side of booming tourism in India which is reflected in human trafficking and related problems. He called for strengthening the legal system in the country and stressed that framing of strict and new laws alone cannot ensure everything; their implementation has to be made better and stricter.

 

Sharing his views on the need to improve the tourism sector in the country and quoting important figures, Shri Shivendra Tomar, Director, IFCI said that during the last year, 100 crore visits were recorded by the tourists world over in International tourism, of which India accounted for a meager .6% with just 1. 6% contribution to the total revenue generated by International Foreign Exchange earnings. Out of 65 lakh Foreign tourists that visited India last year, 15-16% were from USA, 12-13% were from UK. Suggesting the way out, Mr. Tomar said that archaic laws in India such as “Sarai Act 1962” governing the Hotel industry needs to be revised. Legal system should ensure safe and secure environment for foreign visitors. He urged the citizens of the country to follow “Athithi Devo Bhav” in letter and spirit and suggested that concerted efforts by Government- Central and State, Tourism sector and society need to make India a “Preferred Tourist Destination.”

 

Dr EMS Natchiappan and Shri Shivendra Tomar, Director, IFCI also released the “Souvenir” during the Seminar.

 

Eight parallel sessions on sub-themes unfolded during the day on “Medical Tourism”, “Tourism and Women”, “Tourism, environment and Sociology”, “Tourism and Industry”, “FDI and Tourism”, “Religion and Tourism” wherein experts such as Mr. Rajiv  Bajaj-Associate  Director,  Panasonic Networks, Dr. (Mrs) Anshu- Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi; Mr. Hemanshu Chaturvedi-CMD, HTC Group; Mr. Pankaj Agnihotri- Entrepreneur  and  Subway  Franchisee  owner; Ms. Seema Manoj- Research Consultant, Pedersen and Partners, Dubai, UAE shared their views.

 

During a session on “Tourism and Women”, the speakers such as Mr. Hirofumi Suda- Director, H2 Travels Private Limited, Ms. Mokshda Bhushan- Asst. Professor, Amity Law School, Noida, Ms. Manika Kamthan- Asst. Professor, Amity Law School, Noida and few students presented their views

 

Mr. Hirofumi Suda, while talking about “Guidelines Creating Women- friendly tourism in India”, outlined that after the Nirbhaya Case and its exhaustive coverage in media, there has been a drop of foreign visitors to India. He shared that from Jan, 2013- March 2013, there has been 35% drop in the number of foreign women tourists visiting India and 25% drop in total number of foreign visitors to India. He remarked that in his country Japan, women have apprehensions visiting India because safety and security concerns. He suggested that India could devise safety guidelines for foreign women tourists with dress code advisory and other important instructions to be followed while travelling in different parts of India. He also pointed out the need to develop women friendly infrastructure in India including a particular section in Police stations where foreign women tourists can register their complaints and special designated female officers to address their concerns.

 

Sharing her views on “Security of women travelers”, Ms. Manika Kamthan asserted that the patriarchal mind set up of men in India, which is the root cause of all the problems associated with safety and security of women in India, needs to change. It dictates women as inferior beings and when she is travelling alone, questions are raised on her dignity and integrity. The problem lies deep within the dominating psyche and attitude of Indian men. She called upon to make “Code of Conduct for Safe and Honorable Tourism” (adopted by Ministry of Tourism in July, 2010) legally binding so that the Conduct is taken seriously and followed. She proposed to set up Tourist Police Force in each and every state of India, on the lines of Goa Model where the state has specially designated 50 lady constables and night patrolling teams which operate from sunset to mid night. She suggested to sensitize the Police authorities in properly dealing with the foreign tourists especially women travelling alone and masses to respect the guests.

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