LONDON -- A World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) project aims
to strengthen India's appeal as a leisure and business travel
A dozen of India's leading tourism entities have come together
as founding members of the India Tourism Initiative.
One of the goals of the five-year WTTC India Tourism Initiative
project, according to officials, is to create a "unified industry
Among the most immediate objectives of the five-year plan
are:Liberalization of India's aviation sector -- an open-skies
policy.Abolishing entry visa requirements for the top visitor markets
(such as the U.K., other European countries and the U.S.) and
issuing visas on arrival for the remaining markets.
The latter, according to the WTTC, would send a clear signal to
the world that India is in the tourism business.
Other points of emphasis include:Development of a world class infrastructure (water supply,
transportation and waste disposal).Making the most of emerging technologies and
"India ranks 46th among the world's top 60 tourism destinations,
generating only 1% of the global tourism business," said the
council's president, Jean-Claude Baumgarten.
"But given the outstanding wealth of natural resources and rich
cultural heritage, a thriving business community and high levels of
entrepreneurship, there is a vast opportunity for India to grow its
"This opportunity only can be realized if a fundamentally new
approach to tourism development is adopted," he said.
Baumgarten said the WTTC initiative defines this new approach
and the actions required on the part of the government, public and
As proposed, the initiative seeks to bring together the
country's top tourism interests in order to accelerate growth.
It already has identified priority areas and will focus on one
of India's states in order to develop a case study of an economy
driven by tourism that will be to be reviewed annually.