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President Patil says tourism can promote economic growth, employment

New Delhi, Wed, 29 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 29 (ANI): Asserting that tourism can be the driver for growth and economic development of the country, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Wednesday said tourism has the capacity to generate employment.


President Patil, who gave away National Tourism Awards for the year 2010-11 here today, said volume of tourism has increased phenomenally worldwide over the years, and pointed out that the sector has a huge job potential and can provide work opportunity to both skilled and semi- skilled workers.


President Patil presented 78 awards in over 50 categories, and said India's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty endows it with tremendous potential for tourism.


Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai , speaking at the presentation ceremony here, called for accelerated development of the tourism sector with the active involvement of industry.


Sahai said the Ministry of Tourism is looking at diversifying the tourism products by developing and promoting the nascent/upcoming niche products of the tourism industry.


India can become a ' 365 destination' by attracting tourists round the year, and create specific interests to ensure repeat visits by the tourists, he said.


Sahai said identifying the niche products is a dynamic exercise, wherein new products may be added.


Seeking support of the tourism industry in the creation of infrastructure and employment generation activities, Sahai said: "The tourism sector is actively led by the industry and only facilitated by the Government."


The Ministry of Tourism annually presents National Tourism Awards to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.


The awards were presented to State Governments / Union Territories, classified hotels, heritage hotels, approved travel agents, tour operators, tourist transport operators, individuals and private organizations in recognition of their performance to encourage healthy competition to promote tourism.


The National Tourism Awards have over the years emerged as a prestigious recognition of achievements in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.


Three new categories of awards were introduced this year. In an attempt to encourage states and union territories to put in place effective mechanisms for maintaining cleanliness at tourist destinations, a new category of award "The Best State: Campaign Clean India" has been introduced.


The other two new categories of awards introduced wee for the "Best Heritage City" and "Best Heritage Walk".


Some of the important recipients of awards were the states of Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad, the New Delhi railway station,and leading tour operators and hotels. (ANI)


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