Tourism Sector needs more infrastructure facilities

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 8 (UNI) Captains of Tourism and Travel industries today made a fervent appeal to the Central and State governments to favourably consider their demands, to give the much-needed boost to the growing sector.

Speaking at the 24th Annual Convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the apex tourism body, they said am acute shortage of infrastructure in hotels, road transportation and Aviation have to be looked into professionally. This needs forming partnership of the trade members and sharing the thoughts for forming strategies.

'''This is all the more essential when we target to achieve ten million tourists by 2010.'' IATO President Vijay Thakur said the state governments could give land to private sector on a long lease, with a low cost and with supportive tax incentives so that hotels can come up, to combat the shortage of accommodation. Public-Private-Partnership should be formed for putting up of airports, seaports and convention facilities, to be realistic in our goals.

State governments must have Tourism policy for developing tourism plants in the state by allocating funds to this sector.

They should prioritise the implementation in a time-bound manner, he added.

Joint Secretary Amitab Kant, Ministry of Tourism said the govenment was doing excellent job for the promotion of tourism in states, which have attracted tourists manyfolds over the past few years. The government was providing all possible infrastructure for the development of tourism in the states.

''The focus is on a more holistic approach to the Travel and Tourism industry and we have endeavoured to bring together the industry professionals and govenment luminaries, who will deliberate on the burning issues the industry is facing,'' said Mr Thakur.

Explaining the rationale behind the theme 'Managing growth', Chairman of the convention said there was no doubt, the growth of the Tourism Sector will continue to happen. ''We have already crossed five million foreign tourists and will meet the target of ten million in the next few years. The ''Incredible India'' campaign has enabled India to reach global market but the ground reality which tourists face on arrival, is very discouraging.

We must recommend to the government to have a very selective approach with 20 best destinations to attract overseas tourists'', he said.

The three-day mega event is being attended by more than 1000 delegates from Hotel, Tourism and Travel industries.

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