Speaking recently to a select group of stakeholders, detailing some key undertakings of the Delhi tourism department, Kapil Mishra, Tourism Minister assured that Delhi’s inadequate marketing and branding as a destination was already being addressed by the government. He also outlined numerous projects that would boost Delhi’s credentials as a city and a destination.
Proactive measures undertaken to address issues
Kapil Mishra, Tourism Minister, spelled out numerous steps undertaken by the government to improve tourism and related infrastructure in the capital. By and large, the delegation highlighted the need for a joint branding exercise, revision of tax on printed tariff, perspective plan for tourism, and the need for connecting the dots to create a seamless experience for travelers and citizens, alike. “I agree that we need to work together by having a body or a committee, where we can sit together to brainstorm ways for achieving the long-term goal. I am happy to note that most of the concerns shared by the delegation are already being addressed by the AAP government,” he said. Showcasing his government’s pro-active stance on tourism related matters, he noted that a separate budget of around 35 crores was earmarked, only, for branding and marketing campaigns and added that the government was soon going to launch a campaign, at least, at par with Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh’s campaign.
Delhi to have a world-class festival coming November, to be an annual affair
Addressing the issue of absence of a world-class festival in the capital, he shared that Delhi government will be hosting a larger Delhi festival, on the lines of Jaipur literature festival, in the coming November. “We have separated a budget of ` 30 crores for the same, and will make it an annual affair. The event will be on the lines of globally famed Edinburg and Dubai festival,” said Kapil Mishra. He also mentioned that a draft policy for single-window clearance for cinema tourism had already been prepared. “We will soon be making a presentation. It will add strengthen our offerings to the world,” he said.
Beautification of Hauz Khas and other key areas on the cusp; food-courts and restaurants zones mooted
To add more value for tourists coming into Delhi, and on the suggestion of setting up of food-courts and restaurants in earmarked zones of the city, Kapil Mishra informed that the AAP government was already on course of planning restaurant hubs. “We are working with people in Hauz Khas village and outline of the plan is already prepared. We will have a complete makeover of Hauz Khas village. We are working very closely with NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India); after Hauz Khas, we will be undertaking renovation of Khan Market, Connaught Place and Karol Bagh.” He noted that that it was going to take 8-9 months before the Signature Bridge – an ambitious and much-delayed project linking North Delhi to East Delhi and Ghaziabad – could be thrown open for people. “We are planning to develop restaurant facility right below the bridge. It will be undertaken in the PPP mode,” he explained.
Committed to tourism; budget not an impediment for innovative ideas
Replying to the suggestion of employing tourism police at tourist spots, he said that there already was a provision for the same under Delhi police, but it stood non-functional, as of now. “We are trying to explore the possibility of Delhi government having tourism police managed by civil defense volunteers and guides, but it is still an idea which is under study,” he said.
Highlighting government’s commitment to tourism, he shared that the department had an allocation of a budget of over hundred crores. “Also, we have an assurance from the Hon’ble CM that budget would not be a constraint in Implementing a good idea. Budget will not be a barrier for any ‘out-of-box’ idea,” said Kapil Mishra. He further shared that the draft of Delhi creative industrial development operation was ready and the tourism department was working closely with the event industry of the city. “We are the first ones to have given a single-window clearance to the event industry. Over the last three months, we have seen artists like A R Rehman, Zubin Mehta, Farhan Akhtar, and companies like Disney coming to Delhi and organizing their events,” he added.
Work in tandem to inform tourists; management institute must have industry’s participation and guidance
Requesting industry stakeholders to popularize shows and exhibitions, happening almost on a daily basis, for creating more travel and tourism, he said “private events aside, there is a lot happening in organizations like Sahitya Kala Parishad, so if we have a platform where we can share these information with each-other and to the tourist, we will see greater interest in Delhi as a destination. Tourists will gladly stay for two more days in the city.”
On the request for involvement of industry stakeholders in designing and training of curriculum for budding hospitality professionals, to address the mismatch between demand and supply of skilled manpower, the minister said “we have instituted Delhi Institute of Management, and I welcome the idea of partnering with the hospitality industry in designing their curriculum and imparting knowledge. Hotel industry stakeholders can share their requirements for the same. The government will be more than happy to partner with them.”