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.