By Shreya Shimpi
The Global Tourism Investor’s Summit Roadshow was conducted successfully in Mumbai and was attended by members of travel, tourism and hospitality. Various dignitaries from the tourism departments of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli addressed the gathering. The Consul General of Russia too shared his views about India as a tourist destination. The Roadshow was organised to share details about the upcoming Global Tourism Investors’ Summit which will be held from the 10th to 12th April 2023 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
The Summit aims at promoting the Indian travel and tourism industry from the perspective of investment by showcasing India as an ‘Investment Destination’.The Summit shall provide a common platform to the Central and State Governments as well as global investors to discuss the various investment opportunities in the domestic tourism industry. It shall also provide various investment-ready projects for the investors as well as partnership opportunities in the form of B2B and B2G linkage.
With the pandemic behind us, Indian tourism is now in the stage of revival and is inching towards its pre-pandemic figures. It aims at expanding its horizons across various avenues and is making its mark as a responsible and sustainable tourism destination. The tourism industry is growing at a fast pace and has a vital role to play in the nation’s economy, infrastructure and employment creation as well as socially. Indian tourism provides a plethora of options in leisure, wellness, adventure, spiritual, ecological and MICE tourism. Recognising the potential that the Indian Tourism Industry has to offer, the Central Government aims to achieve USD 1 Trillion in tourism GDP and aims at making India the Tourism capital by 2047.
Saurabh Vijay, Principal Secretary-Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Maharashtra walked us through the scenic destinations and heritage sites that Maharashtra has to offer. He said,” Various fiscal and non-fiscal opportunities are being offered to investors. There are many opportunities for PPP Public Private Partnerships. We plan to develop Mangrove tourism and give a boost to Aqua and Cruise tourism”. He spoke about the IISD (International Institute of Scuba Diving) in Sindhudurg and stressed the sea of opportunities that Maharashtra has to offer for investing.
Suresh Jhariya, Joint Director-Investment Promotion Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board spoke about the rich diversity that Madhya Pradesh offers to its tourists with twenty-four sanctuaries, eleven National Parks, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and places of worship. Goa was showcased as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations and was the first state to open its doors to tourists just six months after the pandemic. Goa has one of the highest ARR in the country and the newly inaugurated Mopa International Airport will bring in higher footfall to the state which is a great investment opportunity for hoteliers and investors. The Goa Tourism Policy Master Plan has been developed and is the first state in the industry to have its Tourism Act. Goa is now planning to promote MICE tourism and has two upcoming Convention Centres with a capacity of 1300 and 3000 people. Industry insights were shared by Sunit Kothari, Co-Convener, CII Maharashtra Sub-Group on Tourism and Aviation Director Kothari Group. He said that the Indian government needs to revamp the ‘Incredible India’ Campaign to revive tourism lost during the pandemic. He spoke about the commencement of Vande Bharat train services and the enhancement of railway services for improvised connectivity for domestic tourism. He also appealed for an increase in identifying MICE centres, especially in states with a good footfall of tourists and for bringing back the Udaan routes to enhance flight connectivity.
Prashant Ranjan, Director-IDIP, Swadesh Darshan, Niche Tourism and Administration Ministry of Tourism, Government of India spoke to BOTT in an exclusive chat.
“India is at the cusp of that revolutionary change in the infrastructure development, investment promotion and economic growth where the next thirty years will be of India.That is why, we want everybody to pitch in because India is the blue-eyed boy of the world right now because of the stability, huge market, skill and manpower that it offers. What is required from the side of the institutions like the government as well as the industry is that now we can leverage it to our benefit to have inclusive growth. Only marginal growth will not sustain India in the next thirty years. So how can we push our economic agenda to those areas which have not seen growth till now? There the role of tourism comes up as strong as no other sector, maybe only agriculture is close to tourism. Per crore of investment in tourism gives much more multiplier effect of employment and livelihood than any other sector and that is where we need private people to come and make investments and be proud of not only getting back profit but about changing the ecosystem of rural India, the ecological system, Himalayan ranges, coastlines, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc. We have so many things to change and the good thing is that we have people staying in all these places. So when you touch these projects, you are changing the lives of those people who have never been touched by economic growth. When you go to places like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and the northeast you realise that if you spend a crore of rupees of investment there, how much transformation you would be bringing in generations to come. I plead to all the private investors and the Industry to look beyond the Western region and the Southern region. The West and South are as close to us and we want them to grow to an international level better than the best International tourist destinations but we should not forget Himalayan India, Eastern India and North-eastern India which will give an advantage to all the private sector investors where the profitability will also be more. Not only for inclusive growth but also from the angle of business growth, it is a win-win situation.”
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