IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organized its Annual Event celebrating the ‘World Tourism Day’ an Interaction on ‘Rethinking Tourism’. While welcoming the Chief Guest, IMC President, Anant Singhania said before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism was one of the most important sectors in the world economy contributing to nearly 10 percent of global GDP and providing employment to over 320 million people worldwide. Further, the global tourism body highlighted that the sector could create 58 million jobs in 2022, to reach more than 330 million, just 1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels and up by 21.5 per cent of 2020 levels if — the vaccine and booster rollout continue at pace this year, and international travel restrictions are eased around the world throughout the year. He also stated that by 2028, the Indian tourism and hospitality industry is expected to earn 50.9 billion dollar as compared with 28.9 billion dollar in 2018.
Speaking at the event, Farhat Jamal addressed that India holds the advantage as a medical tourism destination, right now medical tourism business is sizing about 3 billion dollars, in 5 years it will be 10 billion dollars. He also gave a walkthrough of the committee’s activities for the year, where they will be organizing an event on Hospitality education, as the Industry is combatting skilled labour shortage and there is need for skilled and trained people in this sector. Further, he also shared his thoughts on planning an event promoting the port tourism like Mumbai port and sports tourism should be encouraged as it is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism.
While addressing the audience, Chief Guest Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said that ‘government can’t perform the job of businessman or traders this is not our job, our duty is to give proper infrastructure to tourism that is proper roads, basic facilities, telecommunication, remaining else is the responsibility of Industry personnel’s.
He also urged the Industry leaders to come forward with suggestions on what the government should do, where it is lagging in rendering the support to the Industry and how the State can attract tourists as there is a lot of scope for tourism. The Minister shared that due to the current scenario in China and Sri Lanka, the International Tourists are opting for India as preferred destination for vacation, and this will open new avenues for the Indian Tourism Industry. He also highlighted that the crowning ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is completing 350 years and on that occasion the government is conducting a big function in Sindhudurg Fort and has requested the Industry leaders for their support and assistance towards making the function a grand success.
During the interaction, speakers shared their thoughts with the Minister, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) highlighted that even if one tourist stays in Mumbai even one day after his scheduled stay, then the city’s revenue will be increased by 108 crores in a year. Ajay Prakash, President, Travel Agents Federation of India shared that there are very few facilities for ladies specially toilets and other facilities in Mumbai, in cities and on highways and there is need to do to meet the basic needs. Carl Vaz, President, SKAL International India made a request to have a single window clearance system in tourism department to ensure expeditious implementation of tourism projects.
The program was well attended and the event was interactive and interesting. This thought-provoking session ended with a Vote of Thanks by Samir Somaiya, Vice President, IMC and he expressed confidence that the industry would soon see an upward trend.
Participants representing Members of the Hotel, Restaurant and Travel business and civil society representatives and stakeholders attended and benefited from the Interaction.