In news: The government recently revamped the scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) to develop sustainable and responsible destinations with tourist and destination centric approach.
About SD 2.0:
- Fifteen States are part of the first phase which include Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
- Two destinations from each State have been identified.
- Some of the prominent places identified are Jhansi and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, Gwalior, Chitrakoot and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Ajanta and Ellora in Maharashtra.
- India’s new domestic tourism policy moves away from theme-based tourist circuits and focuses on revving up destination tourism.
- The Swadesh Darshan scheme is 100% centrally funded.
- The scheme has been revamped with the mantra of “vocal for local” and seeks to provide financial support to strengthen tourist infrastructure.
- Domestic tourist visits in 2021 were around 677 million and in 2022 is 572 million.
Significance of the scheme:
- To enhance the contribution of tourism to local economies.
- To create jobs including self-employment for local communities
- To enhance the skills of local youth in tourism and hospitality
- To increase private sector investment in tourism and hospitality
- To preserve and enhance local cultural and natural resources
- Destination division as adventure tourism, beach tourism, wellness tourism, cco-tourism and several other categories would help segregate the tourists as per their preference”.
About SD 1.0:
- It was launched by the Centre in 2014-15 for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
- Some of the prominent circuits launched under this were the Buddhist tourist circle, Ambedkar Tourist Circle and the North-East Tourist Circle.
- Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides financial assistance to State governments for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
- The scheme was envisioned to synergise with other government schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, and Make in India.
- Challenge: Part 1 of Swadesh Darshan I had faced some criticism mainly pertaining to resources being spread thin due to the many destinations being covered and too many stakeholders being involved.
Significance of tourism:
- Contribution of tourism to the employment of the country: According to the third Tourism Satellite Account is 14.78%, 14.87 % and 15.34 % for 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 respectively.
- The total jobs generated by the by tourism are 72.69 million (2017-18), 75.85 million (2018-19) and 79.86 million (2019-20).
- Local community would immensely benefit as It would help create jobs and skill development among the natives.
- It shall directly boost the economy of the region.
Source: The Hindu