Tourism minister condemns vandalisation of Mumbai hotel

January 22nd, 2009 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika SoniNew Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) Tourism minister Ambika Soni Thursday said that people who Wednesday vandalized a five star hotel in Mumbai should not be allowed to take the law into their hands as it deterred tourists coming to India.”No one should be allowed to take law into their hand as it deters visitors from coming to India as already the tourism industry is reeling under the impact of global meltdown and Mumbai terror attack aftermath,” said Soni after inaugurating the illumination of historical monuments like Purana Qila (old fort), Sher Shah Gate and Subz Burj.

Over 300 workers of the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS), the Shiv Sena’s labour wing, had Wednesday vandalised the Hotel Intercontinental Grand to protest the sacking of at least 21 employees.

“We are extra alert and the state governments should also be alert so that such incident do not happen again as it prevents tourist from coming to India. Tourism generates resources which means jobs for hundreds of people,” she added.

“It’s a great regret and I condemn such incidents. I have personally taken up the issue with the Maharashtra government and I will monitor it till the culprits are punished,” Soni said.

The minister said that they are taking ‘comprehensive steps’ to attract more tourists to the India in 2009 starting ‘Visit India year’ in partnership with hotel industry, airlines and travel and tours operators.

Soni also announced an incentive scheme for the tourists.

“A ‘Visit India 2009′ scheme is being launched, whereby attractive incentives, by way of value additions would be offered to foreign tourists visiting the country during the period April to December 2009,” she said.

The scheme would work on the concept of providing one additional or complimentary service to the tourist, for every service paid for. The incentives would be offered in collaboration with Airlines, Hotels and Tour Operators.

In 2008, 5.37 million tourists came to India, an increase of six percent from 2007 when 5.08 million travellers came to India.

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