“Delhi as a World-Class Global Tourist City”: Insiders bat for institutional framework, concerted effort by stakeholders

The session titled “Delhi as a World-class Global Tourist City” saw serious deliberations on positioning Delhi as a destination meeting world-class standards. The session was moderated by Kapil Kaul, CEO, CAPA India and panellists included, JB Singh, President, Interglobe Hotels; Saeed Sherwani, MD, Sherwani Hotels; Kishore Singh, Director, Delhi Art Gallery; Sourish Bhattacharya, Founder Director, Tasting India Symposium; Jitendra Singh, Head, Airline Marketing & Route Development, Delhi Airport; Sharupa Dutta, Producer-Zee Jaipur Literature Festival; Suresh Nair, Country Manager, AirAsia Berhad; Vivek Yadav, Senior VP, Domestic Switchgear, Havells India and Gagan Khosla, Entrepreneur and cycling enthusiast. Panellists listed out several measures to ensure well-rounded development on multiple fronts. Here is a list of steps suggested by the panel:

  • Need for an institutional framework to guarantee policy implementation with legal underpinning. It is necessary for a transformational change.
  • Need to rope in students from history and other related disciplines to create more awareness around city’s heritage and culture among locals and tourists alike.
  • Multiplicity of accountability must be done away with. It is essential to pin accountability to bring more transparency and urgency in processes, especially with big-ticket infra projects such as Aerocity.
  • Delhi must have more accommodation choices, across budgets, throughout the city, for a viable consumer experience. Hotels are a key part of city infrastructure and must be treated as one by the government.
  • Must find ways to instil passion for heritage and history. These subjects must find more space in the mainstream of public discourse. Convergence of stakeholders needed to drive discourse.
  • PPP model an apt medium for conserving heritage. Find ways to create more synergy among stakeholders from within the government and private sector.
  • There must be some institutional mechanism set up by the government to promote private initiatives in different spheres of activities, including food, history, art, and such. Individual efforts must not get lost.
  • Cycling, food festivals, and other such engagements must be given more prominence as they add more dimensions to a city’s tourism profile. Need for a holistic and concerted effort to drive these segments. 
  • Delhi tourism website must showcase different initiatives, private or otherwise, and act as the central repository of information on happenings in the city.
  • Focus on strengthening ancillary services such as quality souvenir shops and cafeterias to create more traction around city’s museums and art centres.
  • Need for more cultural exchanges within the domestic circles to promote art and heritage. Tourism industry stakeholders need to converge to moot the way forward.
  • Delhi International Airport should showcase finer elements of city’s tourism bouquet. Tourism pegs such as culinary offering can be soft marketed to a much larger audience, given Delhi airport’s global air connect and high footfalls. 

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