Swadesh Darshan 2.0 programme

The tourism industry in India has always been a major contributor to the country’s economy. It not only generates employment opportunities but also promotes cultural exchange and supports local businesses. However, the rapid growth of tourism has also led to its negative impacts, including environmental degradation, overcrowding, and exploitation of local communities.

To address these challenges and promote sustainable tourism, the Union Ministry of Tourism launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS) in 2014. The SDS aimed to develop theme-based tourist circuits across India, such as spiritual, heritage, and eco-tourism circuits. However, the scheme was criticized for its lack of sustainability and community involvement.

Revamped Swadesh Darshan 2.0 Programme

In response to the criticism, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) programme, which seeks to develop sustainable and responsible tourist destinations. The SD2.0 aims to address the negative impacts of tourism and promote responsible tourism practices while also increasing private sector investments in the industry.

Under the SD2.0 programme, the Central Government has shortlisted 30 cities from across 15 states to be developed as sustainable and responsible destinations. The selected cities include Dwarka and Dholavira in Gujarat, Colva and Porvorim in Goa, and Nalanda and Gaya in Bihar.

Shift towards Destination Management

The SD2.0 programme marks a shift away from the theme-based tourist circuits towards destination management. Destination management involves a comprehensive approach to tourism development that considers the environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism.

The SD2.0 programme aims to promote sustainable tourism practices by involving local communities in the tourism development process. It also seeks to develop tourism infrastructure that is sensitive to the local environment and culture.

Expected Benefits of SD2.0 Programme

The SD2.0 programme is expected to bring several benefits to the tourism industry in India. Firstly, it will promote sustainable tourism practices, which will reduce the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and local communities. Secondly, it will create new employment opportunities and support local businesses. Thirdly, it will attract private sector investments in the tourism industry, which will contribute to the economic growth of the country.



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