Tourism to play a major role in State’s recovery: Plan Board
Important recommendations that have emerged from Kerala Looks Ahead, the just-concluded three-day international conference and consultation organised by the State Planning Board, will be woven into the 14th Five-Year Plan, board vice chairman V.K. Ramachandran has said.
As a next-step, the Planning Board intends to consolidate the proceedings of the sessions and decide what the takeaways are for the State. “’Many of the positive suggestions will find their way into the State’s 14th Five-Year Plan,” Mr. Ramachandran told a press conference here on Saturday.
The conclave has long-term recommendations that are of strategic interest to the State and some specific suggestions for the short term, he said.
To a question on the tourism sector, Planning Board member-secretary Venu V. said global reports indicated that international tourism would be back on track only by 2024. “Given such a scenario, Kerala needs to concentrate on domestic tourism and encourage initiatives like Responsible Tourism (RT),” he said.
The tourism sector, though witnessing a downturn at the moment, will play a major role in the State’s recovery process, Mr. Ramachandran said.
Summarising the outcomes of the virtual conclave held from February 1 to 3, Mr. Ramachandran said the conclave was marked by a universal appreciation of Kerala’s historical achievements, particularly achievements made during the past four-and-a-half years and the alternative development policies pursued by the State.
The conference and consultation itself was appreciated by the participants as a unique attempt to seek the national and international views on the State’s future development, he said. “Everyone believes that Kerala is poised for a change,” Mr, Ramachandran said.
The conclave saw participation by 190 speakers from 11 countries, including Nobel laureates Joseph E. Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, World Food Prize winner Modadugu Vijay Gupta, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, leading industrialists such as Ratan Tata and Azim Premji, and senior experts and scholars from India and abroad.
The conclave featured 22 sessions on sectors deemed critical to the State’s development in addition to three special sessions on local governments, development financing, and industry.
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