Chandigarh:24.11.17-The two-day CII Hospitality Summit-cum-display organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry Northern Region began at CII Northern Regional Office, Sector 31, Chandigarh, today. Experts highlighted the need to leverage on the immense employment and revenue generating potential of the growing tourism sector in the region. Senior officials of Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab shared the future roadmap for the growth of the sector in the region.

In his keynote address, Mr Jitender Yadav, Director Tourism and Hospitality, Chandigarh Administration, said, “The tourism sector presents before us immense potential for employment generation. The sector has become more lucrative with the changing nature of the way people travel now. The youth specially starts travelling from the time they start making a living thus increasing the flow of both inbound and outbound tourists. Chandigarh administration is also trying to promote flow of both domestic and international tourists to the City Beautiful. CII should organise more tourism summits in the lean part of the year when tourist inflow is low.”

Mr Jaspal Singh, Principal Secretary-Tourism, Government of Punjab, said, “Punjab is on the world tourism map thanks to the Golden Temple. Punjab has made enormous investment to the tune of 1,700 to 1,800 crore to revamp cultural assets of the state over past four to five years. It is time to cash on the investment. To leverage on the immense potential of the tourism sector for revenue as well as employment generation, Government of Punjab is formulating a Cultural and Tourism Policy. Owners of old buildings will be incentivized to turn them into heritage hotels. Since many cannot afford to renovate the buildings, I invite the industry to come and take part in such projects on the third party partnership model. The state government is also keen to convert the Townhall in Amritsar into a cultural hub. The sarias along the GT Road or Sher Shah Suri Marg will also be turned into tourist hubs under the new scheme.”

“We are hiring United Nations World Tourism Organisation as a consultant to develop a master plan to develop tourism in the state. State government will spend Rs 550 crore in the conservation of heritage properties. The new Tourism policy will also entail promotion of medical tourism, bed and breakfast tourism and eco-tourism,” he added.

Mr Vijai Vardhan, Additional Chief Secretary Tourism, Government of Haryana, said, “With sheer power of spirit and dynamism Haryana has been able to develop tourism in the state with international festivals such as Surjkund Crafts Mela in which 35 nations are taking part this year and reviving one of the few existing Mughal Gardens at Pinjore and religious tourism at Kurukshetra. Haryana’s success stands testimony to the fact that tourism can be created out of nothing.”

“Ensuring security of the tourists is vital to have any tourist inflow because even one incident of eve teasing can scare tourists away for years. Great attention also needs to be paid to the architectural aesthetics of our mushrooming concrete buildings to attract tourists. We also need to work on literature on our heritage buildings,” Mr Vardhan said.  

The Summit is a platform to participants to explore business opportunities with international and national hotel chains and Food & Beverages chains willing to expand their footprint in the North. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Tree of Life, Summit Hotels, Mango Hotels, Burgill, Barcelos, Paratha Express, Cheesy Fries and Nutrabite are among participants.

Besides interactive session, learning sessions focusing on new trends, technologies and innovations for greater returns on investments, and an exclusive CEOs Forums are also being held.

A product display on the hospitality sector will be key highlight of the two-day Summit. Products to be put on display include equipment for kitchen, bar, gym, spa, laundry and banquet, kitchen and bar supplies, cold room and kitchen refrigeration, décor, room furnishing, housekeeping, besides support services and solutions. Hotel Restaurant & Resorts Association, Punjab; Patiala Hotel Association; Amritsar Hotel & Restaurant Association; and Association of Hospitality Professional are taking part in the summit-cum-display.