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Tourism hasn’t received the priority it deserves from successive governments: Dr Shashi Tharoor

Thursday, August 10, 2017, 13:15 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff |New Delhi

Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament (MP) and former Minister said that tourism sector has got immense potential to be the pivot of economic reforms in the country considering the sector’s ability to generate employment to unskilled and semi-skilled youth in the country. Unfortunately, successive governments haven’t accorded enough priority to the sector. Dr Tharoor was speaking at the release of a book - An Introduction to the Business of Tourism – co-authored by Dr Venu Vasudevan, Secretary – Tourism, Government of Kerala, with Dr Vijayakumar B, and Saroop Roy.

 If the purpose of economic reforms are employment generation, increasing GDP growth, etc. , government has to “dramatically expand” the tourism sector in this country, he said. Make in India hasn’t been able to generate jobs in this country. Only 1.13 lakh additional jobs have been created in the last one year, he said. The feeling that “we have no stake in the future of this country”, among the youth would drive them into the hands of ultra fringe elements, he said.

While advocating the cause of tourism, Dr Tharoor raised some fundamental issues related to tourism and tourism industry in the country. Destinations in India are poorly managed with utter disregard for tourist facilitation and waste disposal. Hotels and resorts are major culprits at many places having no plan in place for waste management, he said. “At least to impress the tourists, we need to get our acts together.”

Speaking about the book, Dr Venu said that tourism industry always focused on the “operations” rather than on “knowledge”. The industry hasn’t bothered to invest in knowledge and education. However, it is time the industry changed that mindset. Knowledge alone can help travel and tourism players to remain and do business in a sustainable fashion in future, he informed. He said that the book has been written with students in smaller and towns and cities in the country in focus who are looking to join this sector. “They need to be armed with the right knowledge,” he said.

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