MYSORE: The Union government, which is keen on exploring the potential of tourism and increase the foreign tourist inflow from 6 to 12 million per year, should set aside `25,000 crore for the tourism sector.
South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA) honorary president and Hotel Leeaventure Ltd MD Vivek Nair said the government is serious on promoting tourism as small countries like Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are attracting more tourists than India. He said India, with 1.20 lakh classified rooms, including 22,000 five star deluxe rooms, would need a minimum of `72,000 crore to develop the hotel industry.
“The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India and High Power Committee constituted to look into the promotion and problems of the hotel industry felt that there is a need for 1,80,000 rooms more to accommodate around 12 million tourists,” he said.
Nair added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, impressed with the employment and revenue generation by the hospitality industry, has promised financial benefits to it as out of 600 million domestic tourists, 100 million stay in the best hotels, generating employment to 52 million people.He said a Planning Commission study revealed that the tourism industry generates 80 jobs to every `10 lakh invested as against ten persons in manufacturing industry.The UPA government batting for inclusive growth, has taken the committee recommendations seriously and prevailed upon the External Affairs and the Home Ministers to bring 13 more countries to avail visa with regard to arrival facilities in 10 cities, including Bangalore, Kochi and Hyderabad.
Plea to RBI
Nair said the Centre and RBI that have considered hotels as commercial perspectives, should bring it under the purview of infrastructure category along with airports and ports, to help them avail debts for 10 to 15 years with reducing balance.