Tourism minister Reddy reaches out to industry stakeholders; calls for investments, partnerships, ET TravelWorld

Tourism minister Reddy reaches out to industry stakeholders; calls for investments, partnerships, ET TravelWorld

Prodding the private sector to invest in the tourism sector ahead of the proposed 1st Global Tourism Investors Summit, Union Tourism & Culture Minister, G. Kishan Reddy, stated that it is a golden time for investment in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Speaking on the government’s preparedness, Reddy informed the tourism industry stakeholders that the state governments have identified investment potential and facilities in various regions for tourism development and now they need the private sector support to make development possible.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the investor and industry outreach roadshows in Delhi and Mumbai.

The maiden edition of Global Tourism Investors’ Summit, is scheduled to be held from May 17 to 19, 2023. There are, however, unconfirmed reports that say it may be postponed a bit. The Ministry of Tourism has not cited any particular reason or announced anything officially on this.

The summit aims to position India’s Travel and Tourism sector as an ideal investment destination, and provide a forum for investors, central and state governments to explore investment opportunities.

The minister was addressing the meeting of the Global Tourism Investors’ Summit (GTIS), held in Delhi and Mumbai. The meetings were a part of the roadshows and roundtables being organised in all important sectors of tourism, to raise awareness about this maiden event.

Assuring complete support from the government side, the minister told the stakeholders that the government is open to discussions with the private sector to resolve issues faced by the tourism sector and identify potential investment fields.

Assam attracts 10 mn domestic tourists in 2022, to focus on homestays, river tourism

In an exclusive conversation with ETTravelWorld, Kumar Padmapani Bora, Secretary, Tourism and MD of Assam Tourism Development Corporation spoke at length about about the upcoming hospitality projects, plans to renew Mahabaahu and the riverine circuit. The homestay policy and significant private sector initiatives on the cards are also expected to increase the region’s appeal.

The Tourism Minister also stated that the government would collaborate with state governments through a cooperative federalism approach. Going ahead, the centre would provide 100 percent financial support to state governments for implementing tourism-related schemes and encourage private investors to invest in the sector with the assurance of full cooperation and support from the government. Over 24 states have prepared action plans for investment opportunities in various areas of tourism, which will be presented in a blueprint by the GoI, announced Reddy. He further urged stakeholders to partner with foreign countries through joint ventures and financial organisations to further develop the country’s tourism industry.

The minister also spoke about the draft of the long awaited National Tourism Policy. Reddy said that the policy is awaiting cabinet approval.

Reddy said that discussions are already underway with state governments to ensure the proper implementation of the National Tourism Policy. A healthy competition is needed among states for the growth of tourism through credible policies and initiatives, encouraged Reddy.

Additionally, the Minister also spoke about the Vibrant Villages scheme, with more than INR 4,000 crore being spent to develop infrastructure for adventure tourism in border villages. The Ministry is also currently working to identify the 50 destinations that will be developed under Swadesh Darshan scheme as a part of the Union budget announcement.

The Minister also pointed out that all tourism sectors have an excellent opportunity for growth, thanks to the improved connectivity through national highways, trains and flights. Additionally, he also identified the MICE tourism (Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) and hospitality sectors as having significant potential for development in the country.

Vishal Kamat, Co-Chair, CII WR Sub Committee on Tourism and Hospitality and CEO, Kamat Hotels India Limited, while speaking to the minister stated that MICE and weddings have substantially picked up post COVID and the latter has grown bigger multiple times.

Patu Keswani, Chairman and MD, LemonTreeHotels stated that the NorthEast region is their priority region and LemonTree Hotels is looking forward to investing there. “Tier II and III cities are also being explored,” he added.

Ajay Bakaya, MD, Sarovar Hotels said that availability of land parcels by the state governments can boost public private partnerships. “Industry status by states will hugely impact forging private investment in the sector,” Bakaya stated.

While speaking with the industry leaders, Reddy also received suggestions from them related to skilling initiatives, swift approval process for projects, simplification of existing processes and more.

Dhimant Bakshi, Chief Executive Officer, Imagica discussed the avenues of establishing recreational arenas or themed parks to boost tourism in the regions. Bakshi and other related stakeholders in the recreational segment, expressed that there is a big future for India with regards to waterparks, amusement parks, thereby pushing the entire tourism sector.

Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism, Govt of India, said that India’s economy has reached an inflection point and is expected to grow further. “Same thing applies to tourism as well and we expect that tourism will tag along and fast pace with the growing economy,” Singh added.

Adding to this, Cdr Nevil Malao, VSM (Retd) VP, Head – Cruise & Navy Cell J. M. Baxi & Co. acknowledged that the way India is booming, it is a wonderful opportunity for private and government agencies to invest in tourism.

To be organised in partnership with Invest India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the summit will offer a platform for global and domestic players to interact and explore investment opportunities in India’s travel and hospitality sector.

  • Published On Apr 28, 2023 at 05:39 PM IST

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