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Empowering Tourism Development and Sustainability

G20 India Tourism Working Group (TWG)

Empowering Sustainable Tourism

Jun 01, 2023
Recent Events

Since its inception in 2020, the Tourism Working Group (TWG) has played a pivotal role in bringing together member countries and relevant stakeholders to discuss, deliberate, and guide the course of action for further local and global tourism development. This influential group also aims to mitigate common challenges faced by the sector, including the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With tourism's key role in the global economy and its progress towards achieving Agenda 2030, the TWG has recently focused on making tourism more sustainable and resilient.


The 1st Meeting of the Tourism Working Group under G20India

Under India's G20 presidency, the 1st meeting of the Tourism Working Group was held at the captivating Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, from 7th to 9th February. This four-day event witnessed important deliberations on G20 India's priorities, paving the way for a vibrant future in tourism. Let's explore some of the key discussions and outcomes from the meeting.


Greening Tourism for Sustainability and Resilience

One of the prime objectives of the TWG is to explore ways to make tourism more sustainable and resilient. During the meeting, participants discussed various strategies to achieve this goal. By embracing sustainable practices, such as responsible resource management, reducing carbon footprints, and preserving natural habitats, tourism can become an industry that contributes positively to the environment. These efforts not only ensure a greener future but also enhance the resilience of the sector against future challenges.


Promoting Digitalization for Inclusive and Competitive Tourism

Digitalization is rapidly transforming various sectors, and tourism is no exception. The TWG recognizes the importance of embracing digital technologies to enhance inclusivity and competitiveness in the tourism industry. By leveraging digital platforms, destinations can reach a wider audience, provide personalized experiences, and streamline operations. Embracing digitalization opens doors for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), allowing them to compete on a global scale and contribute significantly to the growth of the tourism sector.


Skilling Youth for Jobs and Entrepreneurship in Tourism

Youth empowerment plays a crucial role in the sustainable development of any industry, and tourism is not an exception. During the TWG meeting, significant emphasis was placed on skill development initiatives for young individuals aspiring to join the tourism sector. By providing training programs and entrepreneurship opportunities, we can equip the youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in various tourism-related roles. This not only creates employment opportunities but also ensures a qualified workforce that can contribute to the industry's growth and innovation.


Nurturing Tourism MSMEs, Startups, and the Private Sector

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), startups, and the private sector form the backbone of the tourism industry. Recognizing their importance, the TWG focuses on nurturing these entities by providing support, mentorship, and favorable business environments. By fostering entrepreneurship and enabling MSMEs to thrive, we can promote innovation, economic growth, and job creation within the tourism sector.


Strategic Management of Tourism Destinations with a Holistic Approach to SDGs

The TWG recognizes the significance of aligning tourism development with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations. By adopting a holistic approach, tourism destinations can address social, economic, and environmental aspects while promoting sustainable and responsible practices. The strategic management of tourism destinations involves careful planning, stakeholder engagement, and the integration of sustainable policies to ensure long-term success.


Inaugural Session and Dignitary Insights

The inaugural session of the Tourism Working Group meeting was graced by esteemed dignitaries, including the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and DONER, Shri G. Kishan Reddy, and the Union Minister, Shri Parshottam Rupala, who oversees Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying. During the session, these Indian dignitaries shared their valuable insights on various aspects of Indian tourism.


Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel highlighted the unique tourist destinations in Gujarat, emphasizing the state's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. He discussed the steps taken by the government to promote tourism, such as infrastructure development, preservation of historical sites, and the implementation of safety measures to ensure a comfortable experience for tourists. His emphasis on digitization in the tourism sector showcased the state's commitment to embracing technological advancements and enhancing visitor experiences.


Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy stressed the importance of tourism in boosting the local economy and generating employment opportunities. He emphasized the need for sustainable practices in the tourism industry to protect natural resources and preserve cultural heritage. His insights shed light on the government's efforts to promote responsible tourism and create a favorable environment for both domestic and international travelers.


Shri Parshottam Rupala, the Union Minister responsible for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, shared valuable perspectives on the impact of tourism on local communities and economies. He emphasized the significance of tourism in empowering rural areas and promoting community development. His insights highlighted the government's focus on leveraging tourism as a means to improve livelihoods and preserve traditional knowledge systems.


Special Focus on Archaeological Tourism

Day 3 of the Tourism Working Group Meeting was dedicated to the promotion of archaeological tourism. Delegates had the opportunity to visit the ancient Harappan city of Dholavira, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The visit to Dholavira offered insights into India's rich archaeological heritage and provided a platform for discussions on promoting archaeological tourism.


Delegates engaged in fruitful talks about the best global practices in conservation, tourism development, and community empowerment. By sharing experiences and knowledge, the participants explored innovative ways to preserve archaeological sites, engage local communities, and enhance visitor experiences. These discussions aimed to create a framework for sustainable archaeological tourism, where the preservation of historical treasures goes hand in hand with community empowerment and economic growth.


Rural Tourism and Community Empowerment

Rural tourism plays a significant role in promoting local values, safeguarding villages and their associated landscapes, preserving knowledge systems, and protecting biological and cultural diversity. Activities such as agriculture, forestry, livestock, and fisheries, including gastronomy, are integral components of rural tourism experiences.


The G20 delegates had the opportunity to experience the unique aspects of rural tourism during the meeting. They were introduced to local handicrafts, mesmerizing millet rangolis, and the functioning of dairy cooperatives. These experiences showcased the importance of sustainability and community empowerment, which are core priorities of the Tourism Working Group.



The Tourism Working Group, established in 2020, continues to spearhead initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable tourism and addressing the challenges faced by the sector. The 1st meeting under India's G20 presidency provided a platform for meaningful discussions and collaborations among member countries and stakeholders. By focusing on greening tourism, promoting digitalization, supporting youth empowerment, nurturing MSMEs and startups, and adopting a holistic approach to tourism development, the TWG is paving the way for a vibrant and sustainable future for the tourism industry.


Through strategic management of tourism destinations, including the preservation of archaeological sites and the promotion of rural tourism, the TWG aims to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations. By embracing sustainable practices, leveraging digital technologies, empowering the youth, and supporting local communities, the tourism sector can contribute to economic growth, job creation, and the preservation of cultural and natural heritage.


The TWG meeting held in the captivating Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, showcased the commitment of India's G20 presidency to drive positive change in the global tourism landscape. The insights shared by esteemed dignitaries highlighted India's efforts to promote tourism, ensure visitor safety, and harness the power of digitalization. The emphasis on archaeological tourism and the exploration of rural tourism experiences further demonstrated the diverse and rich offerings of the Indian tourism sector.


As the TWG continues its journey, it aims to strengthen partnerships, share best practices, and develop innovative strategies to overcome challenges and foster sustainable tourism worldwide. By bringing together member countries and stakeholders, the TWG plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of the tourism industry, making it more resilient, inclusive, and environmentally responsible.


With its dedication to sustainable development, cultural preservation, and community empowerment, the Tourism Working Group is at the forefront of driving positive change in the global tourism sector. By prioritizing sustainability, embracing innovation, and fostering collaboration, the TWG is positioning itself as a leading force in shaping the future of tourism for the benefit of present and future generations.

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