India asks tourism industry to guard against economic recession and natural disasters

June 13th, 2008 - 6:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Ambika Soni

Seoul, June 13 (ANI): Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni today said that to maintain high growth rate, tourism industry should guard itself against volatile economic trends and unforeseen natural disasters.

Addressing the 83rd Session of the Executive Council meeting of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at Jeju islands in South Korea, she said there were ample opportunities for encouraging tourism in South Asia but an increase in oil prices and economic recession may harm the tourism prospects in the region.

Natural disasters like cyclone in Myanmar and earthquake in China may also make the tourism scenario grim, Soni said.

In order to avert such disasters or to know the time of their occurrence in advance, she urged the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to work in coordination with international organizations which work on Early Warning Systems and Disaster Management.

Citing the impact of such activities, Soni said that countries should refrain from issuing travel advisories to their citizens in event of any terrorist incident or natural disaster as timing of such incidents cannot be predicted.

Such advisories adversely affect the livelihood of the local populations in countries whose economies wholly depend on tourism, she said.

Mentioning the impact of climate on tourism, she said that UNWTO should work in close consultation with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to tackle climate change. (ANI)

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