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Growing tourism, increased opportunity

Growing domestic tourism is creating ample opportunities for SMEs

The constantly growing domestic tourism market is throwing open doors of opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) associated with tourism sector in the country according to the Union Minister for Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahai said on Wednesday.

Inaugurating FICCI's Domestic Tourism Conclave in the national capital on Wednesday, he further said, "Domestic tourism has witnessed an annual growth of 10.1 percent over the previous year and this is good sign for entrepreneurs to grow especially for small players."

Outlining his vision for raising the growth target for domestic tourism from 9 percent to 12 percent in the next five years, the Minister observed that those in the tourism trade must aim to double their businesses in the next five years through the provision of better facilities to tourists and by giving them evening entertainment and a glimpse of India’s spiritual and cultural life.

He said that the domestic circuit, has a huge employment generating opportunities and states must realise this. "The tourism sector has massive job oppurtunities. If you spend Rs 10 lakh in the sector then you are creating employment scope for 80 people, as per the Planning Commission," Sahai urges the states.

Sahai said that the Centre was working on the concept of tourism parks to attract and hold back travelers so that they spend and contribute to the economy of the region.

The domestic tourist, he said, spent more than foreign visitors in a state like Goa. "While the domestic travelers stayed in star hotels and participated in festivities, sports and held wedding functions, the foreign traveler, ate in shacks." It was this spending power of the domestic traveler that needs to be harnessed, he pointed out.

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