NATIONAL

India to head UN South Asian regional commission for tourism

India has been made chairman of the United Nations South Asian regional commission for tourism. This was announced at the ongoing United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference at Gyeongju, South Korea, on Tuesday.

Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, who is leading the Indian delegation at the UNWTO meeting in South Korea, said it was a privilege to head the commission for a four-year term. “It signifies the confidence of various countries in India and the efforts of the Indian Government in promotion of tourism in the country as well as across the globe in responsible and sustainable manner to bring in inclusive growth,” he said.

“Sustainable, safe and honourable tourism are the pillars of India's strategy and the schemes and programmes implemented by the Government are primarily focused on inclusive development, integrated with the overall anti-poverty strategy,” Mr. Sahai told the meeting.

It has been estimated that by 2016-17 the growth in the sector would enable additional employment generation of around 25 million people. There would be need for an additional 42 million skilled persons in hospitality sector alone. The Minister urged UNWTO to intensify its efforts in developing a skill development framework based on best practices across the globe.