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FICCI-EY paper suggests 6-point agenda for fillip to tourism in States
A FICCI-EY paper on 'Tourism Infrastructure: The Role States Play' has recommended a 6-point agenda to enable the States to achieve their potential in attaining the desired growth in tourist arrivals.

The paper calls for Introduction of a robust and inclusive tourism policy as the first step towards introducing the right set of initiatives and achieving the desired tourist inflow. The policy should focus on specific interventions, incentives offered to developers/private players and vision for development of tourism in the state, among others.

The FICCI-EY paper was released here today in New Delhi by Civil Aviation Minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Tourism & Culture Minister, Dr. Mahesh Sharma at the 'Tourism Investor's Meet', arranged by industry body FICCI in association with the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI).

The paper emphasizes the importance of improvement in inter and intra-state connectivity through creation of rural roads, high speed passenger trains, identifying and equipping air strips, converting domestic airports into international, introducing inland waterway connectivity. These areas need to be explored for improving the connectivity between cities and states.

In terms of Tourist facilities, the paper calls for easy availability of the visa offices/centres at all the key destinations experiencing high foreign tourist turnout. Provision of other facilities such as adequate parking and way side facilities is the need of the hour, according to the paper.

It suggests exploration of new concepts such as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions)to attract tourists. There is an increased focus in many states on the MICE sector as an engine of growth for the business tourism sector. To build upon this opportunity, connectivity and availability of world-class infrastructure should be ensured. Incentives and subsidies to attract investors may be proposed as part of the MICE strategy.

For setting up Accommodation facilities in select unexplored destinations, upgrading the service levels of hotels, introducing theme based resorts, are some options that need to be explored. Some popular themes could be golf resorts, wild life resort, green/ clean technology resorts, etc.

Above all, the FICCI-EY paper stresses on Collaboration with other governments. It is critical for a holistic growth of tourism, the paper notes, that the States combine and synergise their efforts and offer comprehensive services and solutions. To create an enabling environment, the States need to explore possibilities by initiating dialogue with key states/countries and creating roadmaps for implementation.

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