Discuss the functions of government tourism organization at the national and state levels in India.
Central Government functions for tourism:
In India the department of tourism, which comes under.the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, functions as the national tourist organization. As a tourism professional one may have to deal with the department and its officials from time to time. The primary task of the department is to lay down the policy, collect tourism related data, attend to enquirers related to tourism publicize India as a destination, regulate the activities of different segments of the tourism industry, etc. Accordingly various advisory bodies and committees are formed to implement the policies.
An important function of the department is to answer to tourists queries and guide them. For this it has its regional offices as well as information offices at prime destination like Agra, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Cochin, etc. Similarly, there are a number of tourist offices abroad which work in liaison with Air India for promoting India as a destination.
India Tourism Development Corporation is another government organization that plays a major role in tourism promotion, travel and infrastructural development. One must be aware of the chain of ITDC hotels like, Ashoka, various restaurants and so on. Unlike the department of tourism, ITDC is a commercial profit earning organization.
A significant step was taken, by the Government in 1986 by setting up the national committee on tourism which has representatives from public and private sectors.
State Governments/Union Territories functions for tourism:
On the pattern of Central Government, the State Governments and Union Territories have their own tourism departments and tourism development corporations. At all airports, major railway stations, bus- stands and tourists information centers have been set up by these departments. They are also actively engaged in
- Policy formation at their levels,
- Promotional activities,
- Destination development,
- Providing guide services,
- Conducting sight seeing tours,
- Providing lodging, etc.