G20: Sherpas in Udaipur; ‘Brand India’ aims at global tourism pie


Photo credit Twitter Amitabh Kant

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By S Jha

New Delhi, December 4: The first major meeting in the run up to India assuming the G20 Presidency was held in the Swaraj Dweep in the Andaman Island. Now, the G20 Sherpas along with the special invitees from nine countries would be in the huddle for four days in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

The NITI Aayog had long been working on initiatives to market the picturesque Andaman and Nicobar Islands as major tourist destinations. Aim in the think tank as per the policy push has been to market the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as international tourist destinations on the lines of Bali, Indonesia and Maldives. There inter-ministerial coordination within the Narendra Modi government in the last few years has been to get policy architecture in place along with the infrastructure upgradation to allow the setting up of resorts and ease of travel to the islands.

The meeting of the Heads of Missions of the G20 countries along with the representatives of a few friendly nations was, thus, held in the Swaraj Dweep, with the visitors taking a close look at the major attractions on the islands, which included the visit to the historical Cellular Jail. Now the Sherpas will meet in Udaipur, Rajasthan, which for several decades has been a must visit international tourist destination. Udaipur is also a lake city, full of heritage buildings, which have taken the forms of luxurious hotels, which are most sought after by the international tourists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat” recently also made a strong pitch for tapping the tourism opportunities with India taking the Presidency of the G20, which consists of 19 countries and the European Union. Besides, India is inviting nine friendly countries in the G20 meetings to be held for the next one year. “The G-20 Sherpa meeting will also help in projecting Udaipur as an international tourist destination,” said a senior official in the government.

India formally assumed the presidency of the G20 on December 1, and as a host nation New Delhi will set the agenda for the next year’s summit meeting in September.
The G20 represents almost 85 per cent of the global GDP, about two-thirds of the world population, and over 75 per cent of the global trade.

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