4th and concluding G20 TWG meeting to begin at Goa

Jun 19: Goa is one the best-known global tourist destinations and is the perfect grand finale for the Tourism Working Group meeting of G20 said Secretary, Tourism, Smt. V. Vidyavathi at a media briefing in Goa today. She said that Goa offers a host of experiences including beaches, heritage monuments, ecotourism, beautiful landscape, and rich culture and therefore is the best location to host the final meeting of the tourism working group.

She also added, “Under India’s G20 Tourism Track, the Tourism Working Group is working on five inter-connected priority areas, which are Green Tourism, Digitalization, Skills, Tourism MSMEs, and Destination Management. These priorities are key building blocks for accelerating the transition of the tourism sector and achieving the targets for 2030 SDGs. During the concluding meeting, G20 member countries, invited countries and international organizations would welcome and endorse the nearly finalized versions of both the document.”

The two key deliverables of the Tourism Working Group are GOA Roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development goals and G20 Tourism Ministers’ Declaration. The Ministry of Tourism has made positive progress in finalizing the two key deliverables of the Tourism Working Group. The focus of the discussions at the working groups has remained Sustainable Tourism, Smt V Vidyavathi reiterated.

Speaking on the side events she said that interesting side events on cruise tourism are planned on the theme ‘Making Cruise Tourism a Model for Sustainable & Responsible Travel’ is being organized on 19th June 2023, focusing on strategies to promote cruise tourism.

She added “The event will see the participation of G20 member countries, invited countries, international organizations, and industry stakeholders. The event will witness deliberations on the challenges and opportunities in the growth of cruise tourism globally. A panel discussion featuring esteemed speakers from G20 Member countries and guest countries will shed light on country-specific policies and initiatives on varied aspects of cruise tourism, its growth and the need to make cruise tourism sustainable and responsible.”

Along the sidelines of the main event on 20th June 2023, a national-level side event is being organized which will focus on ‘Making India a Hub for Cruise Tourism’, to deliberate on various challenges and opportunities for developing Cruise Tourism in the country following the principles of sustainability. Multiple facets of Cruise Tourism (Coastal, Island, Regional and Yachting), perspectives from the Coastal States, private and public stakeholders in inland waterways, and perspectives from riverine States will be the focus areas of discussion during the event.

She also added that focusing on the environment a side event ‘Towards a circular economy of plastics in tourism – the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative’ in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is being held on 19th June.

The side event will focus on encouraging the engagement of tourism stakeholders to address plastic pollution through circular approaches across the tourism value chain. The event will encompass high-level introductory remarks and a keynote presentation on the action framework proposed by the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI). These interventions will be followed by a panel discussion with tourism stakeholders and a signing ceremony to welcome the adherence of several organizations to the GTPI.

Giving further details, Smt  Vidyavathi said that a ‘Public Private Dialogue: Importance of Travel & Tourism to the G20 Economies’ is also being co-organized by the Ministry of Tourism in Goa on 21st June 2023 in association with World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The Dialogue is an opportunity for participants to share their priorities and concerns and identify opportunities for mutual support and greater public-private partnership. This discussion will align and provide a private sector perspective on the 5 priority areas set out for the G20 tourism track.

She added that the successful deliberation of this group will promote economic growth, preserve cultural heritage, and promote sustainable development of the region.

Earlier in the day the delegates were given a traditional welcome on arrival in Goa.

The concluding and last G20 Tourism Working Group meeting along with the Tourism Ministerial Meeting, is being held from 19th to 22nd June 2023 in Goa. Side events on crucial initiatives of Cruise Tourism, Global Tourism Plastic Initiative and Public Private Sector are also being organized by the Ministry of Tourism, GOI on the sidelines of the main Tourism Working Group meeting, involving delegates from G20 member countries, central government Ministries, various State Governments, and International Organizations.  

The Ministry of Tourism is committed to creating a legacy from India’s G20 Presidency by harnessing the potential of tourism in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In line with the aspirations and ongoing work of the G20 Tourism Working Group, Ministry is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the G20 Tourism and SDG Dashboard, a pioneering initiative developed in collaboration with UNWTO, our esteemed knowledge partner for co-creating the GOA Roadmap for tourism, under India’s G20 Presidency.

This first-of-its-kind online dashboard is a testament to the commitment to leveraging tourism’s potential in accelerating progress toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. The public dashboard will showcase the best practices and case studies from G20 countries based on the five priorities of the G20 Tourism Working Group.

A special Yoga session has been planned on the occasion of the ‘International Day of Yoga’ on June 21, which coincides with the G20 4th Tourism Working Group Meeting and Tourism Ministerial Meeting by the State Government of Goa. Delegates will also have the opportunity to experience the rich heritage of the tourist attractions of Goa. Excursion visits have been planned to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the State viz. the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of St Francis of Assisi and Se  Cathedral, Lower Aguada Fort and Jail Museum etc.

Art and Craft Bazaars are being organized by the State Government showcasing local handicrafts and artisans, signifying the importance of community participation. DIY Activities at the Craft Bazaar have been planned to give hands-on experience. The ODOP products of Goa would be presented as souvenirs to the delegates for the promotion of local crafts.

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