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Hotel sector needs Rs 72,000 cr investment in next five years

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T. Nataraajan (left), Honorary Secretary, South India Hotel
and Restaurants Association, and K. Syama Raju, President, at
the AGM of South India Hotel and Restaurants Association, in
Chennai on Saturday. — Bijoy Ghosh
T. Nataraajan (left), Honorary Secretary, South India Hotel and Restaurants Association, and K. Syama Raju, President, at the AGM of South India Hotel and Restaurants Association, in Chennai on Saturday. — Bijoy Ghosh

The country’s hotel industry needs at least Rs 72,000-crore investment in the next four-five years to build another 1.8 lakh rooms across 1- to - 5-star categories. The country currently has 1.2 lakh star-category rooms.

While the country hopes to attract tourists from newer geographies (other than Europe and the US), and since most of them prefer beach resorts, “we need to focus more on developing products across our east and west coasts,” said Vivek Nair, former President and Executive Committee member of South India Hotels and Restaurants Association.

According to him, India does not have enough hotels or resorts on beach fronts. Usually, tourists from Russia and other oil-rich countries in that belt travel to Egypt. But, considering the current political and social atmosphere in Egypt, tourists are advised not to visit that country. And they are now looking to countries such as India and Indonesia. “India stands a better chance, but unfortunately it does not have enough tourism products to offer them,” he said.

New office-bearers

The Government, in its 12th Plan, has budgeted Rs 35,000 crore for the tourism sector, against Rs 12,000 crore in the 11th Plan. With this kind of budget, it hopes to take its annual foreign tourist inflow to 12.4 million in the next couple of years.

The South India Hotels and Restaurants Association, which has over 1,100 hotels and restaurants as its members, in its annual general meeting held here today, has re-elected K. Syama Raju as President; G.V. Krishnaiah as Vice-President (Andhra Pradesh); K.L. Ramanatha Bhat as Vice-President for Karnataka and Jose Dominic as Vice-President for Kerala, and K. Murali Rao as Vice-President for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry region. T. Nataraajan has been re-elected as Honorary Secretary.

ravikumar.ramanujam@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 22, 2012)
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