Tourism nvestors Meet 2016 organised by FICCITo harness the enormous investment opportunities offered by the tourism sector, the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Invest India are setting up an investment desk. The emphasis so far has been on attracting tourists but now the time has come to focus on creating quality infrastructure and filling the gaps on the supply side to allow tourists to have a fulfilling experience, said Mr. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, at the FICCI’s Tourism Investors Meet 2016.

Mr. Zutshi said that for the tourism sector to flourish there was a need to develop the core infrastructure of the country which included rail, road, air and waterways. He added that a Task Force was being created by the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Railways to improve the connectivity to tourist destinations. He said that there was immense scope of investment in the hospitality sector as there was a shortage of almost 190,000 rooms at present. He added that the government has been facilitating the private sector investors by improving ease of doing business, introducing single window clearance, business friendly policies and creation of land banks for investors.

However, Mr. Zutshi said that there is still a need to bring on board the state governments. Some states have been proactive and have introduced policies for promoting tourism but other states too need to realize that besides attracting tourists, investing in infrastructure was equally important.

Mr. Zutshi said that the government was planning to organize ‘Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit 2016’ in September to showcase the plethora of investment opportunities in areas of infrastructure development, both from India and overseas. The main objective of the summit is to position the Indian tourism sector for attracting large investments and presenting to the investors tangible investment-ready projects in different states of India.

On the occasion, the dignitaries released the FICCI-YES Bank knowledge paper on ‘Investment in Tourism
Infrastructure: Unleashing the Growth Potential’.  Mr. Nikhil Sahni, Senior President – Government Banking & Strategic Government Advisory, YES Bank Ltd, said that the tourism sector offered ample opportunities for investment and if the status of export industry was accorded to it the sector could grow phenomenally.

Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP, Govt. of India, said that the private sector should encourage and promote start-ups and incubators in the tourism sector. He added that the government realizes that the laws in the start-up space have not been able to keep pace with innovation and these were creating obstacles for start-ups. Hence the government was trying to become a partner of the private sector rather than a regulator.