Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to boost tourism growth in the country

Posted On Nov 10, 2014

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‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ to boost tourism growth in the country
Success of the campaign will change the way ‘Incredible India’ is perceived today Lack of hygiene has been a big issue for tourism in the country

E M Najeeb Chairman, ATE Group of Companies
“swachh Bharat Abhiyan goes very well with the Incredible India campaign because cleanliness, hygiene and sanitations are the basics for any tourist destination. Any efforts for a clean India would primarily support and help the tourism industry.”

Arun Anand MD, Midtown Travels
“The perception about India in overseas is that it is a dirty country. With the Pm himself starting this campaign, lots of people have taken a note of this outside India and even if we achieve a small percentage of success, this will be a big achievement.,”

S N Srivastava President Clarks Inn Group of Hotels
“It’s a fantastic initiative but a very long process. There needs to be a far greater consensus on cleanliness. Besides, support from ‘aam aadmi’ and private sector’s participation is imperative for the campaign to be a success. .”

Pradeep Kalra Sr. VP, Sales & Marketing, Sarovar Hotels
“Cleanliness plays a catalytic role in beautification of any country. Therefore it is really important for the Tourism Industry to understand pledge together for adopting new strategies for making our country clean and green.”

Ravi Gosain MD, Erco Travels & Hony. Joint Secretary, IATO
“swachh Bharat mission launched will have long impact on Tourism in India because it’s one of the major challenges which tourist often complains about India. since our Pm has put it on priority, it will get much needed focus.”

Harjeet Wasan
VP Tux Hospitality

“Faced with the issues of hygiene and sanitation in the country, especially at important tourist destinations, the campaign has significant importance for Indian Travel and Tourism Industry. The importance of a clean India is increasingly felt for boosting tourism.”

Stakeholders in the country’s tourism industry are quite happy about ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, and feel that this campaign has a great significance for the future of tourism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ on October 2, with an aim to accomplish the vision of clean India by October 2, 2019, which will be 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Launching the campaign at Rajpath, Modi said that it is a duty of every Indian to keep the country clean. PM initiated cleanliness drive at Valmiki Basti by taking up broom to inspire fellow countrymen to join this campaign, and make it successful. PM also made surprise visit to Mandir Marg Police Station. On PM’s request, many eminent personalities and celebrities have joined this campaign. If this campaign is successful, one of its key beneficiaries will be the Indian tourism sector. According to a report of Water and Sanitation Programme (WPS), ‘Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India’, tourism-related economic losses from inadequate sanitation are estimated to be Rs. 12 billion ($266 million). Of these losses, 45 percent (RS. 5.5 billion, $121 million) are from loss of tourism earnings, and 55 percent (RS. 6.6 billion, $145.6 million) are from losses due to gastrointestinal illnesses among international tourists.

As per the report, about 9.85 million tourism days are estimated to be lost due to inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Of these, half are domestic overnight tourism days, 46 per cent are domestic day tourism days, and the remaining 4 per cent are international tourism days. Of the total tourism earnings loss of Rs. 5.4 billion due to inadequate sanitation and hygiene, the bulk was accounted for by lost domestic overnight tourism. In the report Dollar values are based on the 2006 exchange rate ( $1 = Rs. 45.3325). The India Impact Study was conducted between 2008 and 2010. Estimations of sanitation impacts were carried out for the year 2006 due to availability of partial data only for later years. India has diverse tourism products, but lack of hygiene and sanitation spoils the charm of visiting the country. So ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ has a great significance for country’s tourism sector. Explaining the importance of cleanliness for a destination, S N Srivastava, President & Co-founder, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, said, “Perception about a destination is the single most important reason for tourists to choose a destination.

Cleanliness is one of the top two most important areas, the other being safety, that our country needs to improve upon to be appealing to international tourists.” Srivastava cautions, “So long as we don’t achieve the desired results on these fronts, India will not even be able to achieve its tourist target numbers.” Pradeep Kalra, Sr. VP - Sales & Marketing, Sarovar Hotels said that ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ is an irrefutable statement made by Gandhiji , which is relevant even today in India, so PM Modi’s initiative on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is in the right direction at the right time. He added, “India requires a massive unified attempt to clean up, so this initiative was long due. If one were to connect the dots, it is clearly evident that ‘Clean India’ is ‘Beautiful India’.” According to E. M. Najeeb, Chairman, ATE Group of Companies, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ goes very well with the Incredible India campaign because cleanliness, hygiene and sanitations are the basics for any tourist destination. “Any efforts for a clean India would primarily support the tourism industry in the country.

The stakeholders in the tourism business in India are quite happy about the campaign and see a great significance for this campaign in the future of tourism,” Najeeb added. Srivastava feels that ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ is a fantastic initiative but a very long process. He said, “Besides support from ‘aam aadmi’, private sector’s participation is imperative for the success of the campaign. The campaign is a success only when there is long term concerted effort by all stakeholders involved. Arun Anand, MD, Midtown Travels said that the perception of India in the overseas is that it is a dirty country and with the PM himself starting this campaign, lots of people have taken a note of this outside India and “I am sure even if we achieve a small percentage of success, this will be a big achievement.” Echoing the industry’s sentiment, Ravi Gosain, Joint Secretary- IATO & MD, Erco Travels said that Swachh Bharat Mission launched by PM Narendra Modi will have long impact on Tourism in India because it’s one of the major challenges which tourist often complain about India. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is the biggest ever cleanliness drives in the country, which, Najeeb said, addresses a major issue. “India embarking on such a campaign is very admirable. A very strong drive in this direction has never taken place till now and hence this present drive is highly appreciable. Rs. 62,000 Crores is expected to be the cost of the movement so that we can surely see visible results by the end of the campaign,” said Najeeb.

Kalra feels that it should be made sure that cleanliness drive should percolate to every nook and corner of the country, thereby making Incredible India more beautiful. “The main handicap to the destination India has been its huge sanitation and hygiene issues. The country could not effectively address this issue, and the major victim has been tourism,” said Najeeb, adding that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a blessing to the tourism Industry.” Gosain said, “Sanitation and hygiene are few major concerns for Tourism Industry and because of this many international tourists are going away from India. I think with this mission we will able to gain their trust and bring them to India. It will have long term impact on India Tourism.

There is no doubt the brand and image of Incredible India will be strengthening in future.” “It is really sad to see that most of our global tourist destination like Varanasi, Hrishikesh, Agra, Goa are known more for their filthy sites and localities due to lack of hygiene and sanitation. In terms of cleanliness criteria also, India doesn't even features in top 50 Clean Countries of the world. “These issues call for a massive cleanliness movement to recreate a better picture of our country on the Global Tourism Map. Cleanliness plays a catalytic role in beautification of any country. Therefore it is really important for the Tourism Industry to understand pledge together for adopting new strategies for making our country clean and green.” said Kalra. “The importance of a clean India is increasingly felt for boosting tourism. One aspect that has impacted tourism in our country, relates to hygiene,” said Harjeet Wasan, Vice President, Tux Hospitality. He added that foreign tourists are very particular about hygiene and cleanliness. “World-class levels of hygiene and cleanliness are required in India's top tourist destinations, to bring about a paradigm shift in the country's global perception. If the tourist destinations in the country are clean, more tourists will visit India. The success of Swacch Bharat will help in generating employment through Tourism and boost India’s GDP,” said Wasan. “Cleanliness and Hygiene is a big issue for foreigners and with Clean India Campaign, we will be able to come up in the list of favorable countries for tourists’” said Anand, adding, “The negative perception of the tourists about India will slowly wean away and we can have good numbers of tourists coming to India in the near future.

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