Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd shares his thoughts on Tourism Sites and Digital Repository: The Bharatmala, Sagarmala and #UDAN #programmes will be of significant value in bridging the rural- urban divide and laudable moves that augur well to boost the #Travel & #Tourism sector as a whole. The #UnionBudget paid special attention to the unique UDAN #scheme with its #announcement to increase air connectivity to smaller cities- thereby enhancing affordability of air travel and enhanced access for the common man. The Government’s key focus on transport infrastructure saw the Finance Minister highlight Bharatmala for road #infrastructure, Jalmarg and Sagarmala aimed at #waterways. The Budget also reiterated expansion of the national highway grid and state road network. In a clear focus to give fillip to #Inbound and #Domestic #Tourism, the government plans to develop 17 iconic tourism sites as world-class tourist centres- aimed at improving the flow of domestic and inbound tourists to #heritage destinations. A significant announcement was that of a #Digital Repository (containing folk songs/dances, videos on their evolution, traditional arts, anthropological documentaries of tribes) is to be created - with the aim of #preserving rich tribal and further enriched and strengthened. Much needed emphasis on the Railways sector is expected to see a new dawn of the Indian railways: a new PPP model towards rapid #development, massive modernisation programme of railway stations; deeper investment in suburban rail network via SPVs. A #visionary #Budget inclusion from a #transportation perspective was the announcement of the Inter-operable One #Nation One transport card with its objective of universal travel across various #modes of transport (road, railways etc); additional used as a #ATM card for #withdrawing #money.