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Published on : Thursday, November 17, 2016
WTTC, headquartered in London, is a research and advocacy body for private industry, and takes issues faced by the tourism sector to governments across the globe. David Scowsill, WTTC President and CEO, talked about the Indian tourism sector, the challenges it faces and the opportunities it can create. He said that the focus of travel is gradually shifting from Europe and North America to South East Asia.
China is focused on tourism as a key pillar of economy and building needed infrastructure. Countries like Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia are growing fast as well. He added that infrastructure issues have been challenging for India, both for domestic and inbound tourism. However, airport infra in recent years have been improved considerably. But still a lot needs to be done. The same goes for the hotel industry. More improvements need to be done for roads and hotels, since people are now traveling more for business and leisure.
Apart from infra, next challenge is the visa issue. The electronic visa processing in India will drive the inbound market. The marketing program in India is the next big challenge, and it needs to be streamlined to compete against other nations. Historical monuments like the Taj Mahal need to be maintained. Scowsill says that although he has seen a lot of developments in India of late, many changes still need to be done in the areas of telecom, banking, healthcare etc. Safety for travelers, especially women, should also be taken care of.