Hotel Association of India urges investors to support growth of Jammu & Kashmir tourism
Hotel Association of India (HAI), the apex body of the hotel industry in India, has said it will wholeheartedly support Jammu & Kashmir’s further development as a tourism destination.
At the recently concluded India Global Week, KB Kachru, Vice President, Hotel Association of India and Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group called on investors to consider J&K for their new ventures citing good returns based on promising infrastructure and in the Union Territory.
The India Global Week 2020 was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and witnessed the presence of several luminaries from across the country and the world coming together to discuss the India Revival Strategy.
Emphasising on Tourism in these unsettling and unpredictable times, Hotel Association of India Vice President, KB Kachru said, “Tourism is a real springboard for giving a major thrust to the overall economy particularly in J&K. There is a need to think of some quick wins for survival and revival. Fact remains that J&K and tourism are inseparable. It has established and known multiple destinations for leisure, adventure and religious tourism.”
Over 1 lakh families are involved in the travel & hospitality sector servicing the needs of the industry.
India has over 1.85 billion domestic tourism travellers while 26 million people fly out of the country for leisure annually. “Even if we aim at 5% of that population, we can see what potential J&K has to establish itself as a destination”, Kachru added.
HAI member hotels such as Radisson Group, Taj Hotels, ITC, The LaLiT, Lemon Tree have already moved into Jammu & Kashmir and committed themselves to the growth of the sector in the region. In addition, HAI is also seeing a good amount of international companies wanting to enter J&K despite all the challenges.
Calling for support from the Central and State Government, Kachru said, “Given that investment friendly policies are being set, key players need to have a steady hand on the wheel. Infrastructure development is the need. We need to identify new destinations and create easy accessibility. Moreover, the Government needs to continue to listen and handhold stakeholders at this time of crisis starting with those operating businesses, hotels, houseboats, and transporters. The government must take care of the workforce. In the long run, policy reforms will be needed.”
KB Kachru, on behalf of the Hotel Association of India, proposed a few suggestions to attract investments and for the revival of the sector including:
• Long-term Tourism development plan.
• Declare Tourism as an industry and accord all infrastructure benefits
• Creating Tourism Zones, clusters and new destinations with incentives
• Recognise and support existing stakeholders
• Special incentives and approvals
The session “Revival of Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir” saw a high-powered panel with Girish Chandra Murmu, Lieutenant Governor, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner Secretary, Jammu & Kashmir representing the Administration along with leading entrepreneurs from the region Farooq Amin, CEO, Kanwal Foods & Spices, Vikrant Kuthila, Director, R B Jodhamal Bishan Lal Hotel & Resorts, Amit Wanchoo, CEO, Space Communications and Sanjay Puri, Managing Director, PBI India Ltd.