Sahay to seek PM`s intervention for tourism boost
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 12:46
New Delhi: Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay will seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to ensure development of tourism sector in a coordinated manner with the involvement of all ministries concerned.

"The minister along with a delegation of stakeholders in tourism will meet the PM shortly to seek his intervention to give a boost to tourism sector in the country," sources close to Sahay said.

All stakeholders of tourism, including hoteliers and tour operators, will be part of the delegation.

Sahay will make a presentation of a blueprint to bring all states on a common platform for the development of tourist destinations through public-private participation.

The sources said Sahay will seek changes in policy relating to development of tourism infrastructure and will also emphasise for a competitive tax regime both at Central and state level.

Travel and tourism sector had contributed 5.92 per cent towards GDP and 9.24 per cent towards employment generation in 2007-08. It is estimated that number of tourism jobs in 2007-08 were 49.8 million.

A senior Tourism Ministry official said the need of the hour is to attract more foreign tourists and to create more tourist destinations with active private participation.

In the last few years, tourism sector has witnessed significant growth. Foreign tourist arrivals have reached 5.58 million in 2010 from 3.92 million in 2005. Domestic tourist visits have also gone up to 650 million in 2009 from 392 million in 2005.

However, though the growth in tourism has been impressive, India's share in total global tourist arrivals is quite insignificant.

While China has 5.80 per cent of world tourism arrivals, India's share is a modest 0.59 per cent in 2009.

Though India has tremendous potential for tourism development with its diverse natural and cultural richness providing the basis for a wide range of experience to the visitors, the major impediment in the sector is unhygienic conditions at tourist destinations, the official said.

"Ministry plans to run various campaigns through state participation to maintain hygienic standards at tourist destinations," he said.


First Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 12:46

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