Why Rs 200 Cr For Sardar Patel Statue Should Not Be A Matter Of Outrage

There is a need to encourage sustainable tourism development in the country which will have the massive tourism potential to generate enormous revenue.

When finance minister Arun Jaitley announced Rs 200 crore for Sardar Patel Statue plan, there was a massive outrage from the Congress party, media and people.

People on social media too were outraging the Rs 100 crore allocation for women safety and Rs 200 crore for a statue.

Many would not know that the Saradar Patel project includes building a research centre for research and development of projects close to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s heart, a monumental lift, projects for hospitality and entertainment and a ferry service apart from the statue.

The revenue that the statue will generate from tourism will be massive and will repay for all the other development projects in the area.

There is a need to encourage sustainable tourism development in the country. Just like the Statue of Liberty of USA, Christ de Redeemer of Brazil and many other famous statue of the world, the Sardar Patel statue will have the massive tourism potential which will generate enormous revenue.

Tourism has been increasingly recognized for its economic potential to contribute to the reduction of poverty in developing countries. Its geographical expansion and labor intensive nature support a spread of employment and can be particularly relevant in remote and rural areas, where live three quarters of the two billion people under extreme poverty conditions.

There are several reasons that make tourism an especially suitable economic development sector for the least developed countries.

1).  Tourism is consumed at the point of production; the tourist has to go to the destination and spend his/her money there, opening an opportunity for local businesses of all sorts, and allowing local communities to benefit through the informal economy, by selling goods and services directly to visitors.

2).  Most least developed countries have a comparative advantage in tourism over developed countries. They have assets of enormous value to the tourism industry-culture, art, music, natural landscapes, wildlife, and climate, including World Heritage Sites. Visits by tourists to such sites can generate employment and income for communities as well as helping in the conservation of cultural and natural assets.

3).  Tourism is a more diverse industry than many others. It has the potential to support other economic activities, both through providing flexible, part time jobs that can complement other livelihood options, and through creating income throughout a complex supply chain of goods and services.

4).  Tourism is labor intensive, which is particularly important in tackling poverty. It also provides a wide range of different employment opportunities especially for women and young people-from the highly skilled to the unskilled- and generally it requires relatively little training.

5).  It creates opportunities for many small and micro entrepreneurs, either in the formal or informal economy; it is an industry in which start-up costs and barriers to entry are generally low or can easily be lowered.

6).  Tourism provides not only material benefits for the poor but also cultural pride. It creates greater awareness of the natural environment and its economic value, a sense of ownership and reduced vulnerability through diversifications of income sources.

When one considers the financial gains that many nations and states in the world are deriving from the tourism, it is a surprise that other communities in search of alternative means of earnings and with comparative advantages in tourism such as Bayelsa state are not looking seriously enough in tourism directions.

According to an estimate, the Spring Temple of Buddha in China generated revenue of USD 213 billion via tourism, Statue of Liberty generate a revenue of USD 137 billion via tourism. Similarly, the Christ de redeemer statue generated a tourism revenue worth USD 22 billion, and the Motherland Calls statue of Russia USD 3.2 billion.

Now anybody ruing about women safety allocation of Rs 100 cr must know that it is a sum earmarket only for current financial year.

Who knows, the money generated from the Statue of Unity will provide for the next financial year women safety sum!

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