New Delhi, Oct 19 (PTI) Lok Sabha Chairman Om Birla on Wednesday suggested training tour guides and designated police personnel in multiple foreign languages and developing a multilingual app for tourists visiting India feel more comfortable.
In his address at the opening session of a one-day national tourism policing conference, he said efforts should be made to ensure that no crime is committed against a tourist.
Senior officers from various states and union territories attended the conference organized by the Ministry of Tourism in coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Police Research and Development at Vigyan Bhawan here.
A senior BPR&D official shared a report on the “tourist policing programme” which also cited official data on reported crimes against foreigners in India.
According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 409 cases of crimes against foreigners including murder, rape and robbery were recorded in 2019, with Delhi accounting for the highest 123 cases.
Delhi was followed by Maharashtra (48 cases), Karnataka (46 cases), Tamil Nadu (23 cases) and Goa (21 cases). During the presentation, it was also mentioned that the maximum number of such cases was for theft (41% of total cases) in 2019. On the sidelines of the event, a senior official from the Ministry of Tourism said that a uniform tourism program would probably be put in place. by the Center “by the end of this exercise”.
Law and order being a state subject, this conference also proposes to them in some way to adopt the new scheme or to improve the old ones. Delhi, Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan and Meghalaya have their own tourism police, the official said.
During the conference, best practices and experiences from some states, which have established their own tourism police, were shared, officials said.
In his address, Birla said, “Many foreign tourists, especially those aged 50 to 60, want to speak in their own language. It is therefore important to be multilingual according to the needs of tourists and our policy should factor in this”.
Accordingly, if guides and tourist police personnel can be multi-lingual or can learn basic phrases in several foreign languages, a tourist can be better facilitated and he will also feel more comfortable when interacting. -he declares.
“Similarly, an app can be developed in several major foreign languages through which any tourist when coming to India can download it to get basic information about tourist places and other necessary information in his preferred language. .
“This app can also have a hotline that tourists can use to contact relevant authorities immediately,” the Lok Sabha chairman said.
Birla said India is blessed with extraordinary natural and cultural heritage sites, in addition to iconic monuments, but for any tourist, the first and most important factor in choosing a destination is law and order. from the country.
“If a place does not have a lot of impressive sights or a large number, but the law and order is good, then a tourist will consider going to that place. But if a place has a lot of natural sights and attractive destinations, but the law and order order situation is not good, so tourists will not prefer this place as a destination,” he said.
Union Culture and Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said in his address that different states and union territories should try to engage in “healthy competition” in implementing best practices. tourism-related policies to improve the experience of tourists, both domestic and foreign.
He pointed out the harassment faced by many tourists due to a few unscrupulous elements such as intermediaries, taxi or autorickshaw drivers who try to scam them.
Reddy stressed that all stakeholders must come together to provide a good experience for tourists so that they praise India, its hospitality and its culture when they return to their country.
He also said that India’s one-year G20 Presidency will be a key opportunity to showcase the country’s culture, heritage, hospitality, philosophy and tourist destinations.
During the conference, the report on the “tourism police programme” prepared by BPR&D was discussed, and its conclusions and recommendations were shared with the Ministry of Interior and Tourism as well as with representatives of the governments of the States and UT Administrations.
Union State Minister for Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh, DGs, IGs and other senior police officers and officials from many states and UTs, among others were present at the conference.
Naik pointed out that the tourism sector contributes about 5.02% of India’s GDP and supported about 14.87% of total direct and indirect employment in the financial year 2018-19, as well as revenue. in foreign currency of Rs 2.12 lakh crore (USD 30 billion) in the Indian economy in the year 2019, he said.
The aim of the conference was to bring the two ministries, BPR&D and state governments and UT administration together on the same platform so that they can work together in close coordination and sensitize them to the specific requirements of foreign and domestic tourists for effective implementation of the uniform. pan-India level tourism policing program, the Ministry of Tourism said. PTI KND TDS TDS