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New skills needed to support domestic tourism: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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Urges leaders of hotel industry to develop a road map for promoting Patnitop as a pre-eminent tourism destination

PATNITOP: Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, today said that there has been significant changes in the domestic tourism circuit which is pivoting more towards wellness, healthcare, and other activities like adventure or sports and thereby triggering demand for diverse skills and opportunities while meeting with leaders of the hotel industry at Patnitop. 

The Minister urged them to draw a roadmap for making Patnitop a vibrant tourist destination, taking into consideration its local advantages and resources.

He said that road trips, places with smaller footprints, short-term rentals, or stay-at-home facilities have become more in vogue and the hotel industry must decide on the narrative for the destination, keeping these changes in mind. Tourism is all about human connection. The tourism fraternity must study, assess, and deliberate, factoring in the resources and the skillsets available or required—to develop Patnitop as a pre-eminent tourist destination, he said.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on developing the local economy, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that self-help groups could play a big role in connecting the local craftspersons with the marketplace.

“Our handicraft exports last year were worth about 2 billion dollars and were mostly done through e-commerce platforms. So to help the individual craftsperson, the SHGs could help as a bridge for market access,” the Minister said.

The Minister also met students and members of tourism clubs who shared with him their ideas for developing Patnitop. In another meeting with electronics engineering students, Rajeev Chandrasekhar spoke of Prime Minister Modi’s vision of New India and how there were tremendous opportunities available for them in the electronics/semicon manufacturing and design segments.

Earlier in the day, Rajeev Chandrasekhar launched a sanitation drive in Patnitop and urged the people to keep this picturesque tourist town clean and plastic-free.

He also held a meeting with representatives from SHGs and discussed with them the challenges they face and the opportunities available around market linkages and capacity building. He also met representatives of the PRIs and was apprised of their issues and challenges.

Later in Jammu, the Minister visited the National Skill Training Institute and Regional Directorate of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Jammu. He took rounds of the various sections of the complex including the laboratory of Computer Software Application Trade and also interacted with the trainees and staff members.

Sudarsan Kumar Director Skill Development, Jammu Kashmir, S. Santhimanalan, Regional Director, V. K. Saksena, Principal, NSTI, Srinagar were also present on the occasion.

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