Jammu and Kashmir, India: As Srinagar prepares to host the third Tourism Working Group Meeting of G20 members, discussions on film tourism in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir are underway among seven countries, including Spain, Singapore, and Mauritius.
The meeting, held between May 22-24, includes a side event titled ‘Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation,’ where the focus lies on unveiling a draft national strategy for film tourism and addressing challenges and enablers specific to each country to promote destinations through films in Jammu and Kashmir.
The “3rd G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting” features increased participation from invited countries and international organizations compared to previous meetings in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch and West Bengal’s Siliguri. The meeting’s key priority areas for discussion are Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, MSMEs, and Destination Management, with the goal of fostering economic growth, preserving cultural heritage, and promoting sustainable development in the region.
Two key deliverables of the Tourism Working Group are the Goa Roadmap for Tourism, which aims to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), and the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Declaration. Valuable inputs and feedback from G20 member countries, invited countries, and international organizations will be considered, and final versions of the documents will be presented at the “Fourth Tourism Working Group Meeting” after negotiations.
In addition to the main agenda, a side event on May 22 and 23 focuses on strategies to promote film tourism in Jammu and Kashmir and involves the participation of G20 member countries, invited countries, international organizations, and industry stakeholders. A draft “National Strategy on Film Tourism” will be unveiled, providing a roadmap for leveraging the role of films in promoting tourist destinations.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Chief Coordinator of G20, emphasized the vision of Prime Minister of India – Narendra Modi, to disseminate the message of India’s G20 Presidency through active “Jan Bhagidari” (public participation). The efforts of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in raising awareness about the goals and purpose of G20 through various public activities were appreciated.
Chief Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Arun Mehta, highlighted the positive transformation in the region, evident from the record influx of tourists (18.8 million) in 2022. He mentioned that the arrival of the highest number of foreign tourists in Jammu and Kashmir signifies a promising outlook for tourism, with the development of 300 new tourist destinations to cater to the increasing number of visitors.