Tourism is the industry of future: Deshpande
Karnataka’s Tourism Minister & HP’s Official invite industry to adopt tourist spots
Need to develop new tourist spots – Experts at CII Tourism Fest 2014
-Kulbir Singh Kalsi||
Chandigarh, “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 and huge employment”, emphasized Mr R V Deshpande, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Karnataka while addressing the Inaugural session of the 2nd CII Tourism Fest which started off in a colorful style at Sector 17, Parade Ground in sector 17, here today.
Inviting the industry to partner with Karnataka Govt, he shared that “We have 1400 acre land bank available with us which you can adopt, develop and convert into top tourist spots. We can create a model under which the industry would maintain and take care of the various aspects like cleanliness, drinking water, upkeep of toilets, safety and security etc of these spots and earn huge revenues. We have already shortlisted 46 spots out of the total estimated 319 travel destinations mainly beaches, as of now. I have also discussed the adoption of various tourist spots under 2 % CSR mandated for corporates with the centre government, which is very positive about the same”.
Highlighting the importance of seamless travel, he further emphasized 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 signages etc.
“Development of single integrated tourism circuit across states can provide solution to numerous problems of the tourism industry. All states levy huge interstate taxes on tourists to earn higher revenues but it harasses the tourists. States should collaborate instead of compete with each other like in the European Union”, he added.
“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, Mr Deshpande further highlighted.
“The tourism sector can generate 8 times more employment as compared to manufacturing or other sectors, but unfortunately it has not been explored in India. It contributes around 15-20 % in various countries as compared to just 6 % in India”, he lamented.
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.
Being organized by CII, partnered by Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, with Chandigarh as theHost city and Punjab as the Principal Partner state, the fest attracted huge crowds on day 1 itself. It is featuring participation of various states like Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh who are showcasing their special & attractive tour and travel packages, tourist destinations, unseen tourist spots, serene locations, beautiful places, interesting tours and itineraries etc.
Internationally, 5 countries viz Abu Dhabi, China, Japan, Mauritius and Thailand are also showcasing their best to the residents and also forging business ties with the tour and travel operators, hoteliers and other stakeholders from this region.
Calling Tourism a Private sector industry, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia, Vice Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Board HP, shared that “Tourism industry of India is totally under the control of the private sector. Therefore, the private sector should improvise, 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.”
“The private sector can leverage the mighty Himalayas, scenic coastline, Eastern and Western Ghats and unexplored destinations”, he informed.
Calling industry to partner with HP Govt, Major Mankotia also shared that “We have planned to develop 5 new Hill stations, with Shimla, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Kasauli and Manalibeing over saturated. I invite the industry to invest and partner with us and adopt these hill stations and build Theme parks, hotels, restaurants etc. In Chamba district, a new hill station is proposed to be developed at Jot located at an altitude of 8,000 feet between Dalhousie and Chowari while in Mandi district plan is afoot to develop Jatingri, erstwhile summer capital of Mandi ruler located at an altitude of 5,500 feet, as a new hill station. Jatingri is located between Mandi and Jogindernagar. In Sirmaur district, a hill station is proposed to be developed as new tourist destination between Rajgarh and Haripurdhar while in Shimla district, a new destination would be developed in Pabbar valley between Larot and Chanshal. Chanshal has the best free skiing slope of 10-11 km in Asia”.
“We have earmarked huge land under Tourism Deptt, HP Govt which can be purchased by outsiders i.e Non Himachalis, non agriculturists, otherwise barred by Section 118”, he added.
They also released a CII – KPMG Report on “Renewed Outlook on Tourism’ & a CII JLL Report on Performance of Hospitality sctor’ on the occasion.
Mr Ankur Bhatia, Chairman, CII Tourism Fest 2014 & Executive Director, Bird Group shared that “The tourism Industry in the country can reach new heights if all stakeholders come on board with their problems and issues.”
He called for integration of the region, cutting through the national boundaries of the states, making common policies and taxation structure and systems and enabling seamless infrastructure to improve the connectivity which would facilitate in promoting India as a preferred tourism destination.
“CII Tourism Fest 2014, is a pertinent endeavour to enhance the visibility and capabilities abundant in this industry by bringing together all the critical stakeholders like policy makers, officials of Ministry of Tourism, State Governments, International Tourism Boards, hoteliers, tour operators and travel agents on a common platform”, shared Mr Man Mohan Singh, Co Chairman, CII Tourism Fest 2014 & CEO, Aroma Group.