Union Minister for Tourism, Culture, and DONER Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the 2 days Conference of Amrit Samagam being held from 12th – 13th April in New Delhi. During the inaugural day of the 2 days Amrit Samagam Conference, Shri G. Kishan Reddy also launched the Utsav Portal. Secretary Tourism Shri Arvind Singh, DG Tourism Shri G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, ADG Tourism Smt. Rupinder Brar and other dignitaries of the Ministry of Tourism were also present on this occasion.
The Utsav Portal website, a digital initiative launched by the Ministry of Tourism, aims to showcase all the events, festivals, and live darshans across India to promote different regions of the country as popular tourist destinations worldwide. The objective is to showcase various elements, dates, and details of the events and festivals of India on a global platform and increase tourism awareness, attractions, and opportunities by providing tourists with contextual digital experiences in the form of visually appealing photographs and stills from the events. Additionally, the objective is also to let the devotees and travelers experience and view the sights of some of the well-known religious divine shrines in India in the form of Live Darshan.
The Utsav portal will also have the official social media links, official websites, brochures, contact details of the organizing committee, and the details of how to reach the destination through the air, rail, and roadways conveniently, thus establishing a better contact with the tourists and aiding the visitors in planning their trip to these destinations.
The immersive experience-based content is provisioned on the website under various categories like Art & Culture, Spiritual, Music, Seasonal, Culinary, Dance, Sports & Adventure, Harvest, and Expo & Exhibitions. There is a section that lists the major festivals celebrated in India to ensure that international and domestic travelers can plan their trips for these festivals well in advance. The website aims at showcasing the beauty of India, the land of festivals, in a global arena by aiding travelers with compelling, relevant, and contextualized digital experiences enhancing tourism awareness, attraction, and multiplying the travelling opportunities. The website now comprises a plethora of information on more than 80 events, festivals, and live darshans from 28 States and 9 UTs along with detailed attractions. The website will be dynamic and constantly evolving with additional new information about all the upcoming events, festivals, and exhibitions, periodically.
The Ministry had also released a digital Calendar on the theme of dedicated tourist sites on AKAM on the occasion of National Tourism Day on 25th January.
During the Conference, Additional Director General, Ms. Rupinder Brar, while highlighting the events which have been undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism under Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, also stated that a convergence of activities with the State Governments and Union Territories was necessary to create an impactful and wider outreach for spreading the core message of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav. The Ministry of Tourism showcased all activities done across India under AKAM since 12th March 2021. It also shared the proposed 75 locations across India where events shall be held in the coming months. The thrust will be on Jan Bhagidari. The State Governments have also been urged to select their own 75 locations in addition to the Ministry`s India @ 75.
In order to augment the infrastructure development, the Ministry has sanctioned 03 projects during 2021-22 for a total amount of Rs 112.25 crore, with the objective of integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations, under the PRASHAD Scheme. The thrust of the Ministry shall be to provide basic amenities at many more religious places so that pilgrims are benefited. This will allow many more locations to be covered.
The Ministry has also recently revamped its Swadesh Darshan Scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0. Under the revamped Scheme, a destination and tourist-centric approach is envisaged in order to develop responsible and sustainable destinations.
In order to mark the celebration of International Day of Yoga 2022, a list of 75 locations has been shared with the State Governments. The inclusion of students from schools/colleges / Universities / Institutes in the overall celebrations would be the highlight to ensure maximum participation.
During the event, Additional Secretary, Shri Rakesh Verma, also presented the draft National Tourism Policy, which focuses on digital interventions and the development of sustainable and Green Tourism practices.