To upgrade tourism infrastructure with participation by both Indian and foreign investors, the Central government will be holding a three-day summit later this month. The multi-billion tourism industry will see all stakeholders discuss projects that are "investment ready" in various states and union territories.
The "Tourism Investors' Summit 2016" wll be held from September 21 to 23 in New Delhi and have sessions, seminars, government to business and business to business (B2B) meetings during the event to look at opportunities.
To be jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and union tourism ministry, the event will explore various sectors associated with tourism such as aviation, hospitality, civic amenities, roadways and related aspects.
"The Summit will have dedicated space for seminars, business to business meetings and roundtables around focus themes. There will be participation from major stakeholders including state governments, union territory administrations, PSUs and the private sector," CII said.
While there are no estimates or statistics related to domestic tourism earnings, India earns about $20 billion from foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) annually.
The summit is significant as it coincides with the commence of the tourist season, from October to March and in the wake of the damage to the tourism industry in Kashmir due to prolonged violence in the valley.
"The number of tourist arrivals has come down to around 200 to 250 per day from around 12,000 to 15,000 per day. Hotel occupancy is at all-time low," a senior official in the J and K state tourism department told the Economic Times.
The cancellations go beyond individual tourists and extend to corporate bookings who had planned meetings and conferences.
"Tourist season till March next year has been affected. Tourists cannot wait for Kashmir to revive and then plan holidays," Nasir Shah of CNE Holidays told the daily.