Hoteliers seek ` 72,000 crore for tourism development

Despite of good tourist places, the inflow of tourists in the country is very less compared to other smaller countries. 

Request has been made to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reserve Rs 72,000 crore in 12th five year plan for the development of Indian tourism, said former president of South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA) and managing director of Hotel Leela Palace Vivek Nair. 

Addressing the media persons here on Wednesday, Vivek said, India is a country with numerous tourists places. But lack of facilities is repelling the tourists from exploring many of the interesting places. Memorandum has been given to the Prime minister, for which he has reacted positively by appointing a committee to look into the issues.

India has 6 million inflow of tourists which is very less compared to Turkey with 30 million, Singapore with 12 million and Dubai with 10 million visitors. 

The number of tourists inflow into India should be doubled within the end of the next (12th)  five year plan. The government needs to concentrate on encouraging the hotel and hospitality industry, he added.

With best features in India, we have less hotels and classified rooms which might be one of the reasons for the less inflow of tourists. Stiff visa immigration should be made easy with visa on arrival facilities has to be implemented for the benefit of tourists. Uniform tax must be applied on the room tariff. The process of loan facilities should be easier with land bank facilities. The stringent food safety norms must be relaxed which is against the methodology of applying commercial tariffs, he added. 

Vivek said: “Tourism has 9.2 per cent total employee workforce which is a good number and investment of Rs 10 lakh in hotel industry yields 80 employment opportunities. It has the capacity to contribute to the increase in number of employment. Government needs to encourage hospitality and tourism industry by providing essential grants. With the public private participation connectivity air transport will be launched in North India from this November, which will also be expanded to other parts of India. 

Only because of lack of facilities in connecting transports, Karnataka’s tourism has a less inflow, which should be rectified. The beach tourism in Karnataka though excellent is not popular just for this reason.”

Among the hotels in  India, it is only 20 per cent of hoteliers running the hotels, and the other 80 per cent are built by non hoteliers like developers who just invest their resources and are given to somebody else to operate. Karnataka is the first state to have single window clearance for hotel projects, which should be model for other states.

President of Mysore Hotels and Restaurants association Rajendra said, tourism development authority should be formed in state to improve tourism. 

A meeting will be organised in coming days by SIHRA with states’ tourism minister and secretaries of the tourism department. The unorganised home stays in the hill stations of Karnataka should be considered seriously which affects the growth of hotel industry.President of SIHRA K Syama Raju, honorary secretary Natarajan, vice presidents K L Ramanath Bhatt and G V Krishnaiah were present.

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