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Weak infrastructure cramping India's tourist inflow

Clogged and cracking airports, ageing air traffic control and chronic shortage of hotels combined with a slow-moving bureaucracy were cramping India's emergence as a tourism powerhouse.

business Updated: Mar 12, 2007 12:06 IST

Clogged and cracking airports, ageing air traffic control and chronic shortage of hotels combined with a slow-moving bureaucracy were cramping India's emergence as a tourism powerhouse, a new study has said.

Even as international tourist arrivals in India grew last year by 13 per cent to a record level of 4.4 million, India's tourism was hampered by inadequate airport and road infrastructure and lack of adequate rooms, the report published by the Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA) published at the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) here said.

The growth was driven in large part by the successful repositioning of the destination brand through the "incredible India" marketing campaign.

India has become one of the world's biggest and fast expanding markets, with inbound, domestic and outbound travel setting new growth records last year, said the "Total Tourism India" report of the PATA.

"A strong, consumption-driven economy, an increased government focus on tourism promotion, a powerful branding campaign, a rapidly growing and increasingly affluent middle class and the on-going liberalisation of air transport have all contributed to India's emergence as a tourism powerhouse," said the 300-page report.

"But significant infrastructure limitations, such as clogged and cracking airports, ageing air traffic control systems and a chronic hotel shortage combined with slow and cumbersome bureaucracy is threatening to slow down India's ascension," the report warned.