KOCHI: Kerala should focus on developing basic infrastructure to tap its tourism potential, Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons has said.
Addressing a meet-the-press programme here on Thursday, September 14, Alphons said there were no sufficient number of hotels and other facilities at destinations like Munnar, reports The Hindu.
“The government should provide land at such places either by purchasing it from companies or take back holdings whose lease periods have expired,” he added.
Comprehensive tourism projects should be designed by international experts, and private players should be brought in for running the show, the Minister said.
“Large tracts of land remain unused in places like Wagamon. A tourism master plan should be prepared for such areas with focus on eco-friendly projects. Responsible and sustainable tourism projects should be the way forward,” he suggested.
The Minister said the government was planning to privatise most hotels of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) after retaining one or two. Large-scale tourism amenity centres will soon come up around major tourism facilities in the country, he added.
“The annual tourist arrival in India is 8.8 million, whereas the footfall at Louvre Art Museum in France is 22 million. People should come and see India,” he said.
In the IT sector, Mr. Alphons said India should graduate from being a service provider to a product developer.
The best brains in the country are migrating to Silicon Valley. “The focus of IT sector in the country is on back-end jobs for software companies abroad. It is mostly menial jobs that are being done here,” he observed.
Mr. Alphons feared that there could be job cuts in the IT sector in the future when Artificial Intelligence and such other developments caught up. “The country should become the hub of global electronic manufacturing industry,” he said.