In his keynote on “Delhi as a World-class Global Tourist City”, speaking at the India Travel Congress, SK Misra, Chairman, ITRHD and former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, suggested a slew of measures to augment the overall experience of Delhi for locals and tourists alike. He advocated undertaking PPP model for conserving heritage in the city and batted for a holistic approach in driving the capital’s outreach, involving locals as a key stakeholder in the process.
SK Misra, former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, was fulsome in his praise for the diversity and depth of offerings of the city of Delhi. He called Delhi “a city with amazing lineage and home to diverse offerings”, apart from rich ancient heritage. He listed out some of the city’s top draws and made specific mention of elements such as cuisines, shopping, monuments, among others.
Taking stock of the big picture to bring the city at par with the best cities in the world, he suggested decongesting Delhi and adding more amenities to bring more seamlessness to the movement of people. He also mooted roping in larger number of trained guides and students from history and other related disciplines to add to the knowledge quotient of travellers and locals alike.
He further noted that heritage walks had gained prominence in the recent past and given its rising popularity, focus on lesser known monuments would bode well in further spreading awareness and driving tourist numbers.
SK Misra favoured private investments by corporate entities in adopting at least one heritage structure, besides undertaking PPP (Public Private Partnership) initiatives for the same. He also observed that GOI (Government of India) was beginning to discover the benefits of PPP initiatives in conserving heritage.
He asserted that Delhi’s museums were at par with the best in the world in terms of content and visitor’s experience could be further enhanced and more tourists could be attracted through proper arrangement of cafeterias and souvenir shops.
On the road ahead, he advocated that government could conduct a “Delhi Heritage Festival” to further amplify Delhi’s offerings in domestic and international markets. He suggested creating a ‘Delhi Tourism Masterplan’ to ensure timely implementation of plans and active convergence of stakeholders.
SK Misra also made a mention of “pressing issues” such as women safety and rising pollution, stating that “word of mouth publicity” of those factors was acting as a major deterrent in pushing the numbers north. He advised the state and central government to “confront these issue” on war footing.