KOCHI: Calling it a “great opportunity”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for a big push to promote local tourism by developing untapped places and urged young entrepreneurs to come up with innovative tourism-related products.
“Many are writing to me and even sharing pictures on social media about their visits to local places. Since the pandemic has affected international travel, people are visiting places near them. This is a great opportunity for us,” Modi said after launching a slew of projects at BPCL’s Kochi refinery grounds at Ambalamugal here. He said the move would bring additional earnings to those in the local tourism industry and make the connect between our youth and culture stronger. “There is so much to see, learn and discover. I urge our young startup friends and all of you to use this time and travel to as many nearby areas as possible,” Modi said.
He said the tourism sector registered a stupendous growth in the last five years. In the World Tourism Index ranking, India moved from 65th to 34th position. “However, there is a lot more to be done. I am confident we will improve even more,” he said.On Sagarika, the international cruise terminal in Kochi which he inaugurated, Modi said the terminal brings both comfort and convenience to tourists.
“Tourists come to Kochi not just as a transit point to go to other parts of Kerala. The culture, food, beaches, markets, historical places and spiritual places here are widely known,” he said, adding that the Centre was undertaking several efforts to improve tourism-related infrastructure here.
Modi said the centre was investing Rs 110 lakh crore through the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) as infrastructure is more than just good roads, development works and connectivity between a few urban centres.
“We are looking at high quantity and top quality infrastructure for the coming generations. Through NIP, Rs 110 lakh crore is being invested for infrastructure creation,” he said. Special attention was being given to coastal parts, the northeast and mountain areas. The country is also embarking on an ambitious programme of providing broadband connectivity to every village, he said.
The PM said India was giving utmost importance to developing its Blue Economy. This includes building more ports and improving infrastructure in existing ones, off-shore energy, sustainable coastal development and coastal connectivity.