'Athiti Devo Bhava' to sensitise Indians towards tourists

MUMBAI: India's tourism ministry today announced a major initiative -'Athiti Devo Bhava' (Treat your guest like God), which is aimed at providing the inbound tourist a sense of being welcomed to the country.

The campaign will target the general public as a whole, while focusing mainly on the stakeholders of the tourism industry. It will also provide training and orientation to taxi drivers, guides, immigration officers, tourist police and other personnel’s directly interacting with the tourists.



'Athiti Devo Bhava' will involve sensitisation, screening, induction, training and orientation, certification and feedback of key stakeholders of the tourism industry in India.

Speaking at the launch of the new campaign, minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) Renuka Chowdhury said, "'Atithi Devo Bhava' is a nationwide campaign aimed at sensitising people about India’s rich cultural heritage, its preservation, cleanliness, hospitality and bringing out an attitudinal shift among the masses towards tourists."



The campaign will be rolled out in a phased manner over a period of three years. In the first phase Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Goa and Aurangabad will be covered.

The training programme will be conducted by experts at two levels. Level one will primarily train the taxi drivers, guides, porters etc in the form of ‘nukkad’ training, road show and classroom programme. Level two training will be a classroom programme focussing on immigration officials, tourist police etc.



Chowdhury further added, 'Atithi Devo Bhava' is the symbolic representation of India’s age old hospitality and with this campaign, we are trying to re-instill in the stake holders a sense of pride and responsibility towards tourists, while positioning India as a popular tourist destination worldwide."

The tourism ministry is looking at reinventing India’s diversity, modernity and cultural heritage while keeping in view the sustainability and environmental aspects.

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