Union Tourism Minister, Shri Subodh Kant Sahai received two prestigious awards ‘Best Destination’ and ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ from Mr. Graham Cooke, Chairman, World Travel Awards at London on 8th November, 2011
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sahai said, “this is a privilege for India being conferred ‘Best Destination’ and ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ from World Travel Awards and for me it is a great honor to receive these awards on behalf of India”. He said these awards will boost the government of India’s efforts to brand India as a global tourist destination. The Tourism Minister announced his plans to double tourist numbers visiting India by 2016. He said Tourism in India is already on the rise with the country seeing the number of visitors increasing by 10% between January and October this year alone. But the country has much grander plans and hopes to ensure that 1% of all global tourists are in India by the end of 2016. The Tourism Minister was of the opinion that country will require an additional 400,000 hotel rooms to meet the demand which it proposes to do through a range of Public Private Partnerships offering massive opportunities to would be partners. He said the increase in tourism will create an additional 25 million jobs in the country – focusing on developing human resources, travel and hospitality and education.
Shri Sahai also announced that India will hold its first ‘Global Travel Mart’ on 12th December 2012. He said this reinforces India’s commitment to become a major player in world tourism.
Shri Subodh Kant also inaugurated the India Pavilion at World Travel Mart 2011. Shri Chhagan Bhujpal, Tourism Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Nawang Rigzin, Tourism Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri AP Anil Kumar, Tourism minister of Kerala, Shri Vasant Kumar Vatti, Tourism Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Mr P Rajavelu, Tourism Minister of Pondicherr were also present on the occasion.
Shri Sahai met The Tourism Minister of Israel, Stas Meseznikov at the Travel Mart. Both the leaders discussed visa issues, connectivity and agreed on the formation of a joint working group (JWG). The first meeting of JWG will be held in Tel Aviv in February 2012.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony, Mr. Graham Cooke, Chairman, World Travel Awards, said, “Currently India lies as one of the most favoured destinations for tourists from around the world. But with investment over the next two years it hopes to drive to ‘year-round’ tourism, including eco, wildlife, health and cruising will seem them break into the top 10 for the first time, surpassing the likes of Australia, Switzerland and South Africa in the process”. Mr Cooke further added that International community is looking forward to ‘Global Travel Mart’ being hosted by India next year.