Good taxi drivers key to tourism, says study (Lead)

June 24th, 2012 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Well-trained taxi drivers are a must if a country needs to boost its tourism potential. So says a study by industry lobby FICCI and Yes Bank.

The study said proper human resource development, including certification of tour operators, were equally vital to promote tourism.

While infrastructural development was essential for a robust and sustained growth of the travel and tourism industry, there should be simultaneous attention to human resource development, it said.

The study urged the government to make tour guide associations a consultative partner.

It suggested action points for taxi drivers saying the safety of the tourists was in the hands of the these drivers. Their conduct defines the comfort level of the tourist.

Good training and capacity building will not only increase their business possibility but also build up brand India.

The study calls for workshops in communication skills to be conducted by state governments.

The tourism ministry has a scheme of approving travel agents, inbound tour operators, adventure tour operators, domestic tour operators and other sectors.

However, the operators covered under this scheme should be reviewed periodically and initiatives should be undertaken to increase its reach, the study said.

Another innovation that can be introduced is the concept of star category rating of travel and tour operators.

The study said there is an urgent need to institutionalise capacity building in all segments of the hotel industry, particularly in emerging options such as budget hotels and service apartments.

Recent studies have shown that the preference for accommodation is gradually shifting away from budget to the semi-luxury and luxury segment.

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