With tourism sector contributing to around 10% to the global GDP and accounting for 1 in 11 jobs worldwide, it has emerged as a powerful instrument for socio-economic development. It is the largest service industry globally in terms of gross revenue as well as foreign exchange earnings. Recognizing this contribution, the United Nations declared 2017 as the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development”, thus, presenting a unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.
In the Indian scenario, tourism sector makes a significant impact on the economy of our country. The tourism and hospitality sector’s direct contribution to GDP in 2016, was US$ 71.53 billion and during 2006–17, direct contribution of tourism and hospitality to GDP is expected to register a CAGR of 14.05 per cent
Provision of world class infrastructure facilities is a key determinant for India’s appeal in the global tourism market. The critical infrastructure required for comfortable experience to tourists includes connectivity, tourists’ facilities, maintenance and management of tourist attractions. Government recognizes this need and has introduced series of schemes such as PRASAD, HRIDAY and SwadeshDarshan amongst others to improve linkages between key tourist locations which shall certainly provide much needed impetus to the tourism infrastructure of the country.
With the advent of largest and fastest growing global tourism markets and the cultural and creative industries being used to promote destinations, cultural and ecotourism have become hugely popular in the Indian context. However, steps such as improving infrastructure and connectivity, tourist assistance facilities, safety and regulatory framework, as well as ensuring convenient visa, immigration and customs procedures, will be pivotal for leveraging the full potential of this sector. Further, policy reforms for rationalization of land procurement costs and single-window clearance systems will significantly boost investments in the sector.
Need of the hour is to help tourism industry grows as one of the main industries through innovative means of financial assistance and investments into various segments. In addition to this, promotion of tourism is key, and will help foster better understanding between people, create employment opportunities and bring about socio-economic benefits to the community, particularly in the interior and remote areas and to strive towards balanced and sustainable development and preserve, enrich and promote India’s cultural heritage.
To achieve this balance, government needs to collaborate with the private sector for the development of tourism infrastructure by provision of fiscal as well as non-fiscal incentives. Extensive market research and evaluation exercise should be undertaken in order to identify and highlight desired tourist destination attributes and majormarket segments. tourist destinations may then be developed through flagship projects involving state governments and private sector players.
Private owners can play a vital role to development of the tourism industry in India and have the potential to create new destination hotspot for attracting new tourists from abroad. Such partnerships bring together stakeholders with different objectives and skills, and resources in a formal or informal voluntary partnership to improve the attractiveness of a regional destination, its productivity, associated market efficiency, and the overall management of tourism.
Hence, to address this subject matter of national importance, ASSOCHAM proposes to hold a“National Conference and Awards on Tourism & Hospitality: Infrastructure, Finance and Outreach” on 15th February, in New Delhi. This conference will provide the platform for global leaders in tourism & travel industry, Indian States, Tourism Boards, International & Domestic tourism stakeholders, Policy Makers, Hoteliers, Tour and Travel Agents amongst others to chart out the path for Infrastructure development, its finance, new investment, and new age marketing techniques for making India most preferred tourist destination.
1. To develop the tourism infrastructure – Public, Private and Connectivity.
2. To develop the Human resource infrastructure in the hospitality sector to meet the growing demand of quality human resource
3. To develop the marketing and promotion infrastructure and techniques
4. To developancillary infrastructure and amenities on highways connecting tourist destinations
5. To develop infrastructure for niche products
6. To develop accreditation infrastructure for standardized development of tourism infrastructure across the country
7. To develop information technology infrastructure to support tourism
8. To ascertain financing models or enabling framework for investmentin tourism sector in India.
9. To review and set base for self-regulation or for regulatory body for tourism industry.
Tourism Infrastructure –Since Infrastructure, whetherits – public or private is essential for traveler experience delivery, its development becomes the core of the progress of the tourism sector. Efforts must be made to create benchmark global destinations.
Human Resource Infrastructure–In order to realize tourism sector’s full potential, India needs to prepare human resource to deal and enhance traveler’s experience. It needs to create the required talent pool of managerial talent with professional skills. Developing and enhancing skills for creating jobs amongst all segments, especially in unorganized sector.
Marketing and Promotion –Marketing and promotion in tourism is key, and effective dissemination of information to target audience needs to be done, in order to attract maximum number of tourists. Hence, infrastructure related to marketing of tourist destinations and facilities should work in tandem with the ultimate goal of increasing the tourist inflow.
Ancillary Infrastructure and Amenities – Provision of adequate, clean and hygienic wayside amenities for travelers including fuel stations-cum-public conveniences, restaurant etc. will help in enhancing the experience for the travelers.
Accreditation Infrastructure –Establishment of Standards for tourism and hospitality sector and accreditation body which can guide the sector in implementing and maintaining the set standards for providing world class facilities to the inbound tourists.
Information Technology & Tourism -Information technology is and will form backbone of tourism industry, as it will enhance experience and ease of visiting India. All the information and services being available at a click of one button, will increase the chances of re-visiting the country manifold.
Investment in Infrastructure –All the effortsto bolster tourism in India, will be possible, when public and private players can come together and device ways to raise investment or run self-funded projects.
Financing–Financing of the infrastructure will be critical and will be the main pain point of all the stakeholders. This conference will focus on different financing facilities and models available and acceptable to all.
· Central Government Officials
· State Government Officials
· Potential Investors in the Field of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Industry
· Corporate Decision Makers
· Heads of Infrastructure companies
· Decision Makers of Hospitality Majors
· Heads of Banks and other Financing Companies
· Tour and Travel Operators
· Fleet Owners
· Travel Agents
· Marketing Professionals
· IT and Social Media Marketing Professionals