News Excerpt
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has launched the Incredible India Tourist Facilitators (IITF) Certification Programme, a Pan-India online learning program that is open to all, subject to fulfilment of eligibility criteria, and can be undertaken from anywhere in the country.

Pre-Connect
•    IITFC Programme is a digital initiative of Ministry of Tourism for the citizens of India to become a part of the booming Tourism Industry. It is an online programme where one can learn about tourism at their own time, space, path and pace.
•    The successful completion of this programme would enable the learner to become a Certified Tourist Facilitator of Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
•    There are two categories of IITF Certification Programmei.e Basic & Advanced (Heritage & Adventure) with an optional specialization programme of fluency in spoken foreign language other than English.

Analytica
    As per the data shared by the Minister of State for Tourism, the tourism sector contributed an estimated 5.06 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country during 2016-17. The employment in this sector is increasing gradually with India becoming the global destination for medical and education tourism.
    In today’s context, one of the biggest hurdles being faced in the tourism industry in India is the presence of quality and quantity gaps. The numbers of places of tourist importance are many as opposed to the short supply of trained Tourist Facilitators. Further, in many cases the existing Facilitators do not possess requisite skills and knowledge, thereby disappointing the visitors and causing harm to the brand Incredible India.
    IITF Certification Programme will ensure a rewarding experience for the tourists, as this initiative will address the issue of tourist guides shortage as well as it will provide a lot of competition that will further ensure in providing the best tourist facilitators.
    This online programme will lead to various advantages such as job creation for the local people, granting the local experience and traditional knowledge on tourist places. Moreover, this programme will change the concept of the tourist guides and it will be replaced by the tourist facilitators across the country.

Conclusion
Thus, the objective of IITFC Programme isto create a pool of trained professionals for facilitating the visit of tourists at destinations across the country.Theprogramme will help in enhancing the overall experience of the tourists, who would benefit from the knowledge of the local tourist facilitators and it will also help in creating employment opportunities even in the remotest parts of the country.

PEPPER IT WITH
Niche Tourism, Swadesh Darshan, PRASHAD Scheme