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Friday, 23 March, 2012, 14 : 00 PM [IST]

Indian hospitality industry needs to be strengthened: Shashi Tharoor

First Hi-Aim conference gets under-way in New Delhi
Considering the potential of the tourism and hospitality industry to generate employment and contribute to the overall economic growth, Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament and former Minister of State for External Affairs has urged upon the industry stakeholders to work towards strengthening the industry. He said that the tourism industry has the capability to change the 'fortune' of the country and therefore needed to be strengthened. Tharoor was delivering the inaugural speech at the first Hotel Industry – Architecture, Interior Design, Management (Hi-Aim) conference in New Delhi. Making a comparative analysis of the inbound travel numbers of India vis-à-vis China, Tharoor said that the potential for growth for tourism in India is huge. “World may come to us. But we need to be equipped to offer them the facilities,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Shivendra Tomar, Managing Director, Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI)  said that hotel business was not 'an easy' business considering the various issues associated with the development of hotels. He said that availability of land at appropriate location at affordable price is the biggest challenge for the developers today. Approvals, getting professional architects, etc. lead to delays and cost over runs which ultimately impacts Return on Investment (RoI) of the hospitality projects in the country, he informed. TFCI, since its inception 23 years ago, has so far financed 700 projects in the tourism industry worth Rs 6,000 crore, help create employment for 85,000 people, he added.  

Romesh Koul, CEO, Naaz Hotel Consultants & Co-Founder, Hi-Aim making a presentation on the growth of hospitality industry in the country said that Hi-Aim was conceptualised to fill the space where stakeholders in the industry can get together and discuss various trends in architecture, interior design and management. He said that the Hi-Aim will be organised every year as a calendar event.

Experts of the hospitality industry from India and abroad will debate various issues related with branding, management, design, etc. in the two day conference.
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