India should focus on budget hotels: Experts


Kolkata : India has to focus more on setting up of budget hotels and creation of new destinations along with an ‘inclusive’ tourism policy to give a boost to its sluggish tourism business, tourism experts said Monday.

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“One of the major constraints is hotel room availability which is not even half to meet such burgeoning demand,” S.K. Ghosh, chairman of the Industrial India Trade Fair Committee, said at the business meet on tourism at the 25th Industrial India Trade Fair here.

The 10-day fair was inaugurated in the city Nov 2.

Although India has one of the most potential tourism market, but its share in world tourism has never gone beyond a meagre 0.7 percent at any point of time, experts pointed out.

Hotel room availability is scarce in the budget category that cater to the ever expanding category of middle class travellers, according to Ghosh.

Tarun Maity of Sarovar Group said that creation of more destination circuits in India would attract greater chunk of European tourists.

“India has only one circuit-the Golden Triangle- that includes Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Developing more circuits like it will attract European tourists who prefer to visit these circuits,” said Maity.

With a portfolio of 60 hotels across 40 destinations in India and abroad, the Sarovar hotels and resorts group has 4,895 rooms in operational hotels across various destinations.

Another challenge faced by the sector, estimated to grow at the rate of 8.2 percent in the next 10 years, was the lack of marketing and promotional activities, Ghosh observed.

“We need to emphasise on marketing and promotion of our tourist sites so that both domestic and international tourist flow increases,” he added.

“Both the Central and the state governments must come up with more inclusive tourism policies and programmes to provide a thrust to the sector,” said Amit Sen, president of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI).