February 17, 2022: In its annual budget presented on February 1, the Indian government has mooted multiple schemes to boost tourism and the first of these – the Vibrant Villages Programme-- has this week been allocated a fund of Rs 4800 crores for the period 2023-2026.
The programme is aimed at encouraging tourism in the border villages and will provide livelihood opportunities in 19 districts and 46 border blocks in 4 states and 1 Union Territory along the northern land border. Vibrant Village Action Plans will be created by the district administration with the help of Gram Panchayats (village councils)
To strengthen the domestic tourism, sector specific skilling and entrepreneurship development will be dovetailed to achieve the objectives of the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative.
In addition, at least 50 destinations will be selected and developed as a complete package of tourism, where the focus of development would be on domestic as well as foreign tourists.
It is proposed to launch an app in which all the relevant aspects of the tourist destination would be made available, in addition to aspects such as physical connectivity, virtual connectivity, tourist guides, high standards for food streets and tourists’ security, to enhance tourist experience.
Finally, Unity Malls, to promote and sell each State’s own One District, One Product (ODOPs), Geographical Indication (GI) and other handicraft products, will be set up . They would be encouraged to set up such Malls in the capital city or most prominent tourism centre or the financial capital.