2023. The year of India’s G20 Presidency. A universal acknowledgement of the country’s emergence as an economic power in the midst of many global challenges, and a matter of the utmost pride for all of us. The theme of India’s G20 Presidency 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - the very foundation of ancient Indian heritage symbolizes 'One Earth, One Family, One Future'. In the G20 Presidency year, India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities, giving G20 delegates an opportunity to experience India’s rich diversity, and magical cultural heritage.
The breathtaking and spellbinding white sands of Rann of Kutch witnessed the congregation of representatives of Tourism Sector of G20 countries during 7-9 February 2023. The 1st Tourism Working Group Meeting identified 5 priority areas which will constitute the key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and help in achieving the targets for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs & Destination Management.
The Working Group Meeting was preceded by a side event on the evening of 7th February on the theme “Rural Tourism for Community Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation” where panelists gave presentations and held discussions highlighting the best practices, success stories, prospects, and issues in the field of rural tourism.
The inaugural session of the meeting on 8th February was joined by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, and Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala where the focus was put on the 5 priority themes – Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Destination Management.
The delegates enjoyed a rejuvenating sunrise yoga session at the White Rann before visiting the Harappan site of Dholvaira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where everyone was briefed about the effective and efficient water management system used by them. Post the excursion, a side event was organized on the theme, ‘Promotion of Archaeological Tourism: Discovering Shared Cultural Heritage’. This was followed by a cultural evening and lots of conversations.
The meeting of the 1st Tourism Working Group under India’s G20 Presidency concluded on the 10th of February. The meeting included 2 side events, an inaugural session, two days of working group meetings on the 5 identified priorities namely Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs and Destination Management, a series of bilateral meetings, an excursion visit to Dholavira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a trip to Smritivan Earthquake Memorial, the largest museum to be built in modern India.