Published on : Monday, January 13, 2014
New Delhi: Mr Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, stressed upon the aspect of overcoming “0.6% total tourist arrivals Paradox” which is lingering over the tourism sector’s growth story in spite of the rich history of India.
Speaking on the occasion of CII Annual Tourism Summit “The Wonder that is India” on 10 January 2014, in New Delhi, he said some of the areas of concern for which collective action is needed are India’s image issue, visa regime, cleanliness, poverty, security, and over population. Some of the favorable developments ushering in growth of tourism sector are “I Respect” campaign, “Clean India” campaign, 83% of visas to visit India being issued within three days, 19% growth in domestic tourism during last year, 4.1% growth in India’s inbound tourists in 2013 being higher than world average, etc.
As India is inching towards 0.7% of international tourists inflows, Mr Dewan emphasized that India should strive for attaining the level of 1% in near future.
Suggesting to explore the untapped opportunity in tourism sector, Mr Mukul Sangma, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Meghalaya, said that though strong foundation has been laid with the help of suitable policy decisions, still there is need to strengthen relationship with neighboring countries, and upscaling internal security. These measures alongwith strengthening cultural and environmental aspects would facilitate in making Tourism a vibrant sector.
In his welcome remarks, Mr Nakul Anand, Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Executive Director, ITC Limited, highlighted upon the catalytic role of Ministry of Tourism and opined that time is ripe for usher in a new beginning for this sector and seek transformation by learning to adopt by joining forces to pull rather than push.
Exuding confidence in potential of Tourism sector, Mr Arjun Sharma, Co-Chair, CII National Committee on Tourism & Managing Director, Le Passage to India, said that we not only need to strongly propagate “Atithi Devo Bhavah”, but also need to aggressively promote “Brand India” both internationally and domestically. According to him, some of the grey areas affecting the growth aspect of Tourism sector and requiring urgent attention are Visa policy, Taxation policy, not granting of Infrastructure status, Aviation policy, International promotion and markets, and environment.
Reflecting upon India’s dynamic growth story Mr Subhash Goyal, President & Chairman, IATO & STIC Travels Private Limited, said that progress has been made inspite of numerous hindrances and Tourism sector has played a pivotal role in this alongwith helping in poverty alleviation. He suggested that industry should work keeping in mind overall national interest.