Swadesh Darshan 2.0 with tourist and destination-centric approach: Mr. G Kishan Reddy

The Ministry of Tourism under its schemes of ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASHAD’ provides financial assistance to State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations/Central Agencies etc. for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country. The projects under this scheme are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable Detailed Project Reports (DPR), adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier, etc.

The Ministry of Tourism has now revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) in order to develop sustainable and responsible destinations with a tourist & destination-centric approach and has shared the guidelines for the SD2.0 scheme. Sanctioning of new tourism projects is a continuous process.

The Ministry of Tourism under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) has sanctioned 03 projects in the State of Tamil Nadu since the inception of these schemes.

The tourism and hospitality sector is one of the largest employment-generating sectors in India and has been contributing to the generation of a major chunk of Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE). As per the 3rd TSA (Tourism Satellite Account) for the years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 the contribution of tourism to the employment of the country is 14.78% ( 2017-18),14.87% (2018-19), 15.34 % (2019-20) and the total Direct and Indirect jobs due to tourism (in millions)  are 72.69 ( 2017-18), 75.85  (2018-19) 79.86 (2019-20).   

Three batches of the Incredible India Tourism Facilitator (IITF) basic certificate course have been successfully conducted, under which a total of 3795 candidates have been declared successful and certificates are being issued to them after completion of their police verification. Under the revised guideline for IITF Certification Program, the existing Regional Level Guides (RPGs) have been renamed Incredible India Tourist Guides (IITs). A total number of 1795 IITGs (formally known as RLGs) have successfully completed the Refresher course.

The IITFC programme was launched on 01.01.2020 with the objective to create a pool of well-trained and professional Tourist Facilitators across the country. This is a digital initiative that provides an online learning platform under the IITFC program for basic, advanced (heritage and adventure), spoken language, and refresher courses for candidates. The guidelines for IITFC have been framed keeping in mind market demand, requests from tourism stakeholders, etc. Recently, as per the request received from the stakeholders, the minimum educational criteria have been raised to Graduation or equivalent degree for IITG (Advance & Heritage) course.

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