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States should enhance tourism budget to improve tourism infrastructure: Rashmi Verma

5th WTTC-II Hotelivate State Ranking Survey and Awards recognises best performing States in Tourism

Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 12:00 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff| New Delhi

Rashmi Verma, Secretary- Tourism & Culture, Government of India has recommended higher allocation for tourism by Indian States to make a marked difference in tourism infrastructure at destinations. She was speaking at an event organised by World Travel & Tourism Council-India Initiative (WTTC-II) to announce the 5th biennial Hotelivate State Ranking Survey for Tourism and Awards in Delhi. She said that such awards will instil a sense of competition among the States as well as identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Verma said that the States have to create conducive environment for private sector to invest in the tourism sector. While few states of India have done remarkably well in designing investment-friendly tourism policy, a number of Indian states are still lagging behind. In the wake of the recent attack on Swiss couple at Agra, Verma said that safety and security at destinations is a state subject and they have to work hard so that the country’s image is not put at stake.

The 5th Hotelivate Awards recognised performers in seven categories. Assam bagged the award for best Policy & Leadership in tourism among the States. While Telengana got the award for ‘Investment Attractiveness’ State, Rajasthan bagged the ‘Marketing Innovation’ award this year. The Destination Leadership awards were bagged by Delhi in the general category, and Sikkim in the North Eastern States. The biggest movers in the rankings this year compared to last survey were Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Releasing the Hotelivate survey, Manav Thadani, Co-chairman of the survey said that the purpose of the survey is to encourage states to take lead in India’s quest for tourism. While there has been improvement in tourism allocation in States, he said that even the best spending states are allocating a “small percentage” of the GDP for tourism. 

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