Indian tourism body calls for development of infrastructure, logical taxation


The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the apex body of the travel and tourism industry, has recommended vigorous development of infrastructure, logical taxation and creation of land banks for hotels.

The 26th annual convention here of IATO also pushed for rationalisation of visa fee, better air connectivity and the setting up of a crisis management team to attract 20 million tourists to the country by 2020.

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It also recommended special flights to tourist attractions like Jaipur, Udaipur and Aurangabad.

Tourism Secretary R.H. Khawaja, who inaugurated the convention Sep 2, said ‘action had in some way been already initiated on many of the issues’.

He said tourism as an industry will work to eradicate poverty and accelerate economic growth.

The IATO awarded its ‘hall of fame’ honour to former tourism secretary Sujit Banerjee.

Rajesh Mudgill, chairman of the convention, said tourism was witnessing a new world order in view of the ongoing technological revolution, demand for experimental tours by tourists sensitive to environment and sustainable livelihood practices and the changing markets.

Additional Director General of Tourism Devesh Chaturvedi said public-private partnership was required to improve facilities at monuments.

The IATO and the Archaeological Survey of India have signed an MoU to provide international class washrooms at monuments.

‘We should be in a position to give such basic facilities to our tourists at world heritage sites,’ he said.

Vijay Thakur, president of IATO, applauded the tourism ministry for measures to propel the tourism sector that slowed down because of recession.

The measures included visa on arrival for tourists from five selected countries, introduction of seamless travel for the golden triangle sector and a code of conduct for safe tourism.

The convention was attended by 1,500 delegates.