Essential Air Services Fund being proposed by Civil Aviation Ministry
An Essential Air Services Fund is being proposed by Civil Aviation Ministry for providing subsidy for development of low-cost airports. This is to encourage domestic airlines to fly on remote interior routes with tourism potential. This was stated by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Ajit Singh. Speaking at the valedictory function of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) in Mumbai today, he said that the Ministry is also in the process to enhance the present operations of helicopters to improve connectivity of smaller places including places of religious and tourist places of importance with bigger cities. Shri Singh said that 19 places which are important from pilgrimage/tourist point of view, have been identified in consultation with the Ministry of Tourism and it is proposed to connect these places not only with more airports but frequencies of affordable flights are also proposed to be enhanced.
Speaking about foreign tourist arrival 95 per cent of who come by air, he said during 2011, there were 6.29 million, with a growth of 8.9% over 2010, which is double the growth rate in this sector worldwide (4.4%).
Shri Ajit Singh also said that the Air Traffic Forecast by the Working Group under National Transport Development Policy Committee has concluded that Domestic Air Traffic by scheduled carriers in India in 2020-21 is set to cross 159 million passengers as against 54 million in 2010-11 suggesting a growth of approximately 3 times the present traffic in 10 years. However, Foreign Tourists Arrivals in India at 6 million per annum is only about one-tenth of that in China. Therefore, there is tremendous potential for the enhancement of International tourist traffic to and from India. He also said formulating clear guidelines to enhance utilisation of Bilateral Traffic Rights by the Indian carriers most of whom have started utilizing these bilateral traffic rights allocated to them along with promoting code-sharing with International carriers will result in increase in number of international passengers to and from India.
Pointing to the inter dependence between civil aviation and tourism he said besides the schedule international flights there is a tremendous potential for International Charter Operations. He urged Tourist Operators and Airline companies to jointly offer innovative and affordable packages to promote International Tourism as is being done by other countries in the region
The Minister for Tourism, Shri Subodh Kant Sahai outlined the various steps being taken by the government to promote tourism in the country. Shri Sahai told that the tourism department is needed a quantum jump to be with in competition with world scenario. There are many types of tourism carriers which can use for employment generation and development of tourist places.
We are trying to make green field revolution in tourist sector for sustainable growth; therefore focused on infrastructure services including technical, transport, hotels, motels etc and small distance connectivity. There are the main objects which will attract tourist and provide them best infrastructure services. Central Government is already implemented Hunner se Rozgar Tak and other tourism related schemes for 8th class failed students to higher qualitative educated people.
Even in G-20 summit, the G-20 nations are agreed to empower tourist sector which is main contributor in economy. Tourism sector is proactive and this sector comes in infrastructure category.
He further said that, government already told to all universities and concern departments to depute new academicians / faculties for guidance of new tourist technology and it should be treated as a mission.
The Governor of Maharashtra, Shri K. Sankaranarayanan, Maharashtra Tourism Minister, Shri Chhagan Bhujbal, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, Shri R.H. Khwaja and President, Indian Association of Tour Operators, Shri Subhash Goyal were also present at the valedictory function of the 28th Annual Convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators.