'More hotel rooms needed for C'wealth Games'
Around 1.5 lakh more hotel rooms would have to be created to meet the projected demand for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the capital.
Replying to a query in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni conceded the country was short of rooms to meet the requirement for the Commonwealth Games.
She said while 1.5 lakh more rooms were required for the Games, one lakh of these were in the budget hotel category alone and the remaining in the starred categories.
"The Government is taking several initiatives to augment room supply. We have asked state governments to provide land banks for hotels and have asked for open, transparent auction of plots," Soni said.
She said Haryana has come forward to provide for around 10,000 rooms and also mentioned the Bread and Breakfast scheme that has been launched in the national capital.
Soni said over two lakh trained personnel would be required for the additional rooms and informed that her Ministry has sanctioned eight more Institutes of Hotel Management during the current financial year.
Besides, four Food Craft Institutes have also been sanctioned and the headquarters of the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management in Gwalior and another centre has been sanctioned in NOIDA, she said.
Soni said India's share in world tourism figures was a dismal 0.5 per cent, but promptly added there has been a steady growth in the revenue earnings.
While 4.4 billion dollars were earned by the tourism sector in 2003, the figure went up to 11.9 billion dollars in 2007.
Soni added that foreign tourist arrivals have gone up from 3.92 million in 2005 to five million in 2007.