Tourism has huge potential for economic development: SK Sahai | SupportBiz

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Tourism has huge potential for economic development: SK Sahai

Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said that tourism should be part of the political agenda for its huge potential for economic development. "Tourism especially provides jobs in the rural sector, and employs 70 percent of the youth and women," Sahai said, addressing the first conclave of tour operators from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries in New Delhi.

"Tourism should become a political agenda," he added.

About 45 leading tour operators from India, Maldives, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan are participating in the conclave, which is focusing on various strategies to promote tourist destinations and products in the SAARC region.

"We are from the same region, and know each other culturally and historically but, unfortunately, when it comes to tourism, we have not done what Europe has done long back," said Sahai.

The conclave is a follow-up to the declaration made by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the 17th SAARC summit held November, 2011, in the Maldives, that India will host a conclave of the top tour operators from the SAARC region to boost tourism.

Participants made country-specific presentations, showing the opportunities in the tourism sector, in their respective countries. Exclusive B2B (business-to-business) sessions were also being held during the meet to enable the operators to explore business possibilities.