Significant concerns on tourism discussed at the First ever CII Tourism Festival in Chandigarh

Published on : Wednesday, December 18, 2013

cii__tourism_fest_2013_1-300x191While addressing the Inaugural session of the first ever CII Tourism Festival, Mr Shivraj V Patil, Governor, Punjab & Administrator, UT, Chandigarh said that tourism is the industry of future considering the lesser amount of investment needed and high returns expected and the potential that this sector has, to generate foreign exchange. The event took place in Sector 17, Parade Ground, and Chandigarh. The fest is being organized by CII, Chandigarh Administration and Punjab as the Principal Partner state.
Mr Patil further highlighted that linkage between Ministry of Tourism and Private sector players, mutual co-operation between industry stakeholders, innovation and creative development of new concepts of tourism like-eco-tourism, lifestyle tourism, weekend tourism, farm tourism and medical tourism will take the Tourism industry to new heights as the industry of future,.
The fest which will run from 5-7 December 2013 has Chandigarh as the Host City and Punjab is the Principal Partner State while Haryana is participating as the focus state.
International Chef Meet with 35 chefs from 15 categories from Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka & Malaysia and various Indian states and Dance festival with dancers from Thailand & Indonesia and Indian states also attracted and fascinated huge crowds.
Calling Tourism a Private sector industry, Mr Shivraj V Patil, said, “Tourism industry of India is totally under the control of the private sector. Therefore, the private sector should improvise and innovate and work with governments and build up necessary infrastructure related to the hospitality sector, set up more budget hotels, upgrade infrastructure in religious and scenic destinations to leverage the domestic tourists. Government can play a role of the catalysts or facilitator for the private sector.”
He also urged the industry to also focus on the domestic tourism, which can be profitable in long run for the private sector and recommended leveraging the mighty Himalayas, scenic coastline, Eastern and Western Ghats and unexplored destinations.
He also released a CII – KPMG Report on “Travel & Tourism Sector: Potential, Opportunities and Enabling Framework for Sustainable Growth” and Weekend Lifestyle Tourism on the occasion.
Tourism Minister, Government of Punjab, S Sarwan Singh Phillaur, said that “Government of Punjab is preparing a comprehensive Punjab Tourism Promotion Policy and would soon come out with it, wherein all the elements related to the tourism in the state will be given due focus. North comprising of 8 states and UT of Chandigarh has a lot to offer. But, to unleash this advantage, we need to support the industry with supportive policies”.
Highlighting the importance of seamless travel, he further said that, “Seamless travel should be facilitated across integrated circuits through introduction of integrated taxation regime, linkages between various public transportation modes and improvements in highway infrastructure such as petrol pumps, clean drinking water kiosks and sanitation facilities, road signage etc.”
“Development of single integrated tourism circuit can provide solution to numerous problems of the tourism industry” he added.
He also called upon concerted efforts by all stakeholders such as the central and state governments, private sector and the community at large, for sustainable development of travel and tourism sector in the country.
Mrs Usha Sharma, Additional DG, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, “The tourism Industry in the country can reach new heights if all stakeholders come on board with their problems and issues.”
She informed that in the year 2012, foreign tourist’s arrival in the India increased by 4 per cent and domestic tourist arrival increased by 12 per cent, which shows the healthy growth rate of tourism sector in India.
Sharing some of the main initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for development of the tourism sector, she said, “We are planning to come up with a policy of collective landing, giving ‘Visa on Arrival’ to 4 or more foreign tourists coming together.
Under collective landing permit, a group of four or more tourists visiting India need to file their travel itinerary 72 hours before reaching India and they will be treated similarly as those under the Visa on Arrival policy.”
“Our new initiatives like e-Visa, Collective landing permit can help the industry grow at a robust rate. It is due to this purpose, Visa on Arrival has been extended to 8 airports and shortly this will be extended to Goa Airport as well. Tourists from 40 more countries will also be provided Visa on Arrival facilities in near future.
The other initiatives of the Ministry includes sensitizing the state governments on safety and security of the tourists; 24 x 7 helpline in 12 languages; formation of Empowered Committee to suggest on easing, rationalization and simplification of taxes; ‘Clean India’ Campaign; setting up of Indian Culinary Institute at Tirupathi; 777 days on Indian Himalayas to leverage the tourism potential of Himalayas; tie-up with the Swiss institute on Hotel Management for improving the curriculum of the Hotel Management Institutes; Clean India Campaign under which historic monuments can be adopted by big industrial houses like ITC has adopted Qutub Minar and ONGC has adopted 6 monuments across the country.
She also informed that the Ministry of Tourism is working with Ministry of Commerce to rationalize tax simplification in the country.
Mr Arjun Sharma, Chairman, CII Tourism Fest 2013 & Managing Director, Le Passage to

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