Industry bids farewell to Arvind Singh

Arvind Singh retired after a tenure of over two years, describing his experience as challenging and captivating.

Nisha Verma

Arvind Singh, on his last day in office at the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), described his tenure in tourism and aviation as “interesting and challenging.” He joined the Airports Authority of India as Chairman within a few months of India encountering the first wave of COVID.

“The majority of my tenure was focussed on how to battle COVID and get domestic aviation back on track, which we were able to do in 2020 itself. In January 2021, I shifted to MoT, and then came the delta wave of COVID, which had a serious impact on both aviation and travel and tourism with widespread job losses, loss of revenue, and loss of business opportunities. There was a period of intense crisis and distress for a while, but luckily the tourism sector started bouncing back, especially domestic tourism. All major destinations are reporting very large footfalls, flights are full; and the roads and railway networks are being fully utilized. Hotel accommodation is very difficult to get at popular tourism destinations because people are travelling in large numbers. That is a heartening situation, and because of all this, major companies and other businesses are reporting encouraging numbers and financial results every year,” he shared.

Tenure highlights

He said that India’s G20 Presidency was the major highlight of his tenure at MoT. “Organizing the three Tourism Working Group (TWG) meetings was a great experience as one had to really plan a lot, work in close coordination with other ministries, the MEA, the G20 Secretariat, and the state governments where the meetings were organized. We got excellent responses from the government at Rann of Kutch and at Siliguri-Darjeeling, especially the last meeting at Srinagar because there were many challenges,” he said. Talking about other assignments, he said, “We could streamline ongoing schemes, push work on the National Tourism Policy a little bit further to take it up for industry consultations. We took it to the level of approval, and now it is at the final stage,” informed Singh.

Majority of Singh’s tenure was focussed on how to battle COVID & get domestic aviation back on track