As per the Ministry of Tourism, the vision of the National Digital Tourism Mission is to bridge the existing information gap among different stakeholders of the tourism ecosystem through a digital highway.
The Indian Government set up a task force in July 2021, stating that it wanted to emulate the success of UPI and the National Digital Health Mission.
On March 9, 2022, the National Digital Tourism Mission task force submitted its report, which proposes the creation of a Unified Tourism Interface (UTI) to enable the exchange of data among the various stakeholders of the tourism ecosystem. The stakeholders include tourists, travel agents, accommodation providers, transport providers, food and beverage providers, and entertainment providers.
Importance of National Digital Tourism Mission
Currently, there are no mechanisms to allow the interactions of various data systems through a common language, thereby hindering data analytics and resultant policy-making, the report says.
To overcome this hurdle, standardised data exchange among various stakeholders is required. This is where National Digital Tourism Mission will come into play.
Layers of the National Digital Tourism Mission Digital Stack
Layer 1: Cross-Domain Generic Building Blocks
The first layer of the National Digital Tourism Mission stack is the existing digital infrastructure available for use, such as Aadhaar, DigiLocker, UPI/BHIM etc.
Layer 2: Tourism Domain Data
The second layer of the National Digital Tourism Mission consists of core domain data related to tourism, including:
- Tourism directories: Directories of tourist attractions, activities, associations, routes, accommodation type, festival calendar, convention halls, public utilities, etc.
- Tourism registries: Travel agents, online travel aggregators, waiters, destination wedding managers, tourist guides, chefs, coach drivers, accommodation units, eateries, circuses, parks, theatres, spas, events, casinos, tourist info, etc.
- Tourism records: Rules and permissions, location and purpose-wise activity records, travel insurance, event calendar, shopping rate range, conferences, room rate range, footfall records, etc.
Layer 3: Unified Tourism Interface
The third layer of the National Digital Tourism Mission digital stack promotes data and information exchange among multiple ecosystem actors through the creation of the UTI.
To build this layer, actors of the mission will be encouraged to deploy their APIs and micro-services as open APIs according to the National Digital Tourism Mission standards.
Layer 4: User Systems
The fourth layer of the National Digital Tourism Mission consists of the core, common, aggregate platforms, and reference systems. The aggregate platforms are to be built using the UTI.
National Digital Tourism Mission Draft Report
The mission will likely adopt an institutional structure after studying several analogous digital infrastructures created in other sectors in India. The report adds that it will be composed of diverse stakeholders and will be created as an autonomous entity under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism.
National Digital Tourism Mission report states that it will help develop and customise product offerings, improve destination connectivity, generate data to track performance and help to improve destination management.
Digitalisation is key to bringing tourism activities under a unified system, enhancing the sector's competitiveness. To this effect, National Digital Tourism Mission may soon be a reality.
FAQs on National Digital Tourism Mission
Q.1. Will the National Digital Tourism Mission be secure?
One of the key principles of the National Digital Tourism Mission will be to protect the privacy of users and entities while inducing trust in every interaction.
Q.2. What will be the responsibilities of the National Digital Tourism Mission?
The National Digital Tourism Mission will be responsible for catalyzing the tourism ecosystem, developing the building blocks, framing standards, specifications and policies and encouraging innovation.
Q.3. What are the concerns related to the National Digital Tourism Mission?
The National Digital Tourism Mission poses significant privacy concerns, especially because India is still awaiting its data protection law. Another major concern can be the inclusivity of the mission.
Q.4. Name some key digital infrastructures in Layer 1 of the National Digital Tourism Mission stack.
Aadhaar, DigiLocker, DigiLocker OAuth 2.0 services, UPI/BHIM payment gateway, eRUPI (eVouchers by UPI), National Center of Geo-Informatics (NCoG), MeitY empanelled cloud services, SMS and email gateway services, PAN, CIN and GSTN number for organizations etc. are some of the digital infrastructures in Layer 1 of National Digital Tourism Mission stack.
Q.5. What will be some of the APIs in the National Digital Tourism Mission context?
Some of the APIs in the National Digital Tourism Mission will be Discovery APIs, Booking APIs and Other Tourism APIs.