Building on the crusade to bring about quality investment into the Indian Tourism Sector- Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) conducted its Fourth Tourism Investors Meet on 4 July 2018. Addressing the august gathering- Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India said that the tourism and civil aviation ministries are engaging continuously to identify solutions and to implement them for the growth of both the sectors.
“The way forward is a focused approach for evolving tourist places under the aviation connectivity scheme and expanding existing routes under UDAN scheme including helicopter routes in hilly and north-eastern regions. This will provide good infrastructural support to the tourism sector,” said Padhee. She also added that the ministry of civil aviation is working to remove bottlenecks in remote and regional areas by providing proper navigation means, technology, better security and safety.
Here, Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI & Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee and CMD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, in her address said that increasing connectivity will boost tourism, adding that ‘one flight per day to Khajuraho will build the demand eventually’. Adding on Dipak Deva, Co-Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee and MD, SITA, TCI & Distant Frontiers also presented his view on the growth of tourism in the country.
On the said occasion a FICCI-YES Bank knowledge paper on Tourism Infrastructure was also released by the dignitaries. The FICCI-Yes Bank knowledge paper ‘Tourism Infrastructure Investments- Leveraging Partnerships for Exponential Growth’ As a global growth engine, tourism offers opportunities for both skilled and unskilled segments of the labour force. With rising demand for tourism products, many new destinations have emerged that are competing to garner larger footfalls, and many businesses within destinations are also competing. Infrastructure development is a prerequisite to gain higher tourist numbers and requires the combined effort of the host community, tourists and private and public sectors.
As per suggested measures in the knowledge paper that can accelerate growth of tourism infrastructure in the country- time has come to bring about Tourism Specific Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Rankings. ‘EoDB Tourism State Rankings’ can be introduced with comprehensive parameters for assessment of State initiatives. A uniform format can be introduced for collection and publishing of tourism data and statistics across states and districts to facilitate easier decision making by investors and also measure impact of initiatives of various states and other stakeholders, finds the paper.
Also, the paper identifies that in the field of the Medical and Wellness Tourism, India holds competitive advantage in offering world class therapeutic and curative products and services. In fact, India is one of the most competitive destinations offering specialised treatments at low costs. “Need of the hour now is to attract investments to create supporting infrastructure that can help reap dividends of this global movement led by India, as well as further consolidate offerings in allopathic healthcare and advanced medical procedures,” adds the suggestion in the said paper.
No doubts that unlocking the true economic potential of the tourism sector will require sustained efforts to augment and modernize tourism infrastructure in the country and will need to be driven by a partnership-led approach between the Government and the private sector through innovative PPP models, pointed out Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK and Chairman, YES Global Institute as part of the said findings.