India needs trained manpower to meet tourism demand: Survey

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Mumbai, Apr 3 (UNI) The tourism industry is predicted to maintain its double digit growth and will soon be worth Rs 17 trillion, accounting for seven per cent of the country's GDP, with outbound tourists hitting the 50 million mark by 2020, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation projections.

''The rise in middle class incomes, India being an IT hub and the global 'Incredible India' blitz, has resulted in a very exciting period for tourism. Forty international brands including Four Seasons chain will be entering India soon,'' Michael Huckaby, Vice President (Communications), Switzerland-based Laureate Hospitality Education, leading global hospitality training institute, said here today.

The growth in tourism will invariably result in a huge demand for infrastructure and manpower, which currently stands at 41 million jobs and expands to areas like healthcare, event management, luxury retail and theme parks, Mr Huckaby added.

According to Laureate Hospitality Education findings, the demand for three, four and five star hotel rooms in the country at 2,40,000, already far outstrips its supply of 90,000 rooms, across categories.

The continued prioritisation of the hospitality industry with provisions for 100 per cent direct foreign investments and rapid training of manpower in world class hospitality skills will help India meet the challenge, Huckaby said.

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