New Delhi, Nov 18 (UNI) Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni today asserted that every social and ethnic group would be included in the promotion of tourism as part of the effort to bridge the urban-rural divide and achieve inclusive growth in the tourism sector.
Addressing a meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to her ministry, she said capacity building programme under her ministry is the priority area for the government with special focus on employment generation and trained manpower.
Pointing out that tourism is an important sector for job generation, she said it provided employment to 8.9 per cent in India, besides contributing 6.23 per cent in 2007.
Ms Soni said surveys had have that while IT sector could provide jobs only to educated unemployed youth, tourism sector was capable of providing jobs to rural artisans, semi-skilled, unskilled and illiterate unemployed youth.
Saying that the scenario was no different in Culture Ministry where capacity building programmes are on since 1861 in archaeology, she pointed out that restoration of tangible heritage, museumology, libraries and organisation of workshops and training programmes provided vast opportunities to stakeholders in the culture sector for capacity building.
She said the Tourism Ministry has chalked out an elaborate plan for expansion and strengthening of capacity building infrastructure and there was a plan to establish 49 Indian Hotel Management Institutes (IHMs) and 31 Food Crafts Institutes (FCIs) by the end of the Eleventh Plan.
She said the ministry has also introduced schemes of capacity building through rural tourism, Earn-While-You Learn, Certified Hospitality Trainer and Atithi Devo Bhavah schemes of the Ministry.
Ms Soni said most of the schemes for capacity building were devised keeping in view the increased tourist inflow in the country on a long-term basis.
In this context, she said 'Earn While You Learn' scheme has been devised especially keeping in mind the Commonwealth Games 2010 to sensitise college going students to tourism and culture.
She informed that more than 3,000 students would be trained under the scheme for the Commonwealth Games.
Those who attended the meeting included Mr Bhanwar Singh Dangawas, Mr Parasnath Yadav, Mr Nakul Das Rai, Mr V K Thummar and Ms Kalpana R Narhire (all Lok Sabha) and Mr Tarini Kanta Roy, Mr Ajay Singh Chautala and Mr Surendra Motilal Patel (all Rajya Sabha).
UNI SH AK UCS1913