Tourism industry to get infrastructure status

April 20th, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, April 20 (IANS) The government has approved 28 mega infrastructure projects to boost tourism, and is on the verge of granting it infrastructure sector status, Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee announced here Monday.
“These 28 mega projects will put a lot of money in the hands of the states for upgrading tourism infrastructure, which will be a major boost for the sector,” Banerjee said while inaugurating an international tourism conference, the Great Indian Travel Bazaar 2009.

“Apart from that, the government is very close to granting the industry the infrastructure status,” Banerjee said.

He, however, declined to give a specific time frame by when tourism would be granted infrastructure status. “It is election time so I cannot say the exact time frame but I can say it will be very soon,” Banerjee told reporters later.

“I am quite bullish about the long-term prospects for the industry, which will recover very soon from the current slowdown. I feel the recovery will happen in the next six months,” the tourism secretary said.

“This year, the Indian tourism sector saw a growth of 6 percent against the 12-14 percent in past few years but I feel that it will recover,” he added.

The Rajasthan government and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have signed an agreement to hold the Great Indian Travel Bazaar conference in April every alternate year.

“In those years when it is not scheduled in Jaipur, we shall host the conference in other states so that it becomes an annual activity,” FICCI tourism committee chairperson Jyotsna Suri said.

The three-day tourism and travel conference will see 178 foreign tour operators from over 40 countries participating.

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