'Politicians never thought of tourism as way to generate income'

Source: S O news | By Ameen Zuhaib | Published on 10th April 2016, 8:44 PM | Editorial |

Mangaluru: Karnataka has 320 km of coastline, but has miserably failed in developing adventure tourism due to lack of world-class training and professionalism, said Tourism Consultant (Bengaluru) Dr K S Nagapathy.
Delivering a talk on 'Tourism development in Karnataka with special reference to Dakshina Kannada' during a programme organised by Mangalore Management Association at SDM College in the city recently, he said that even small countries like Maldives earned 94.4 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from tourism.
The business turnover of the adventure tourism of the world last year was around 200 billion dollars, Nagapathy said.
"The Central government should establish an authority for water sports and there should be accreditation system. There is opportunity in village tourism as well. However, we have to develop a sustainable development approach," he said.
Role of tourism
Nagapathy said that according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and World Travel and Tourism Council, the annual income (world over) from domestic and international tourism was 7.2 trillion dollars last year. The sector has provided direct employment to around 266 million people. It is contributing 9.5 per cent to the global GDP. More than a billion people traveled across the globe last year, he said.
However, India has miserably failed to market its cultural diversity. Politicians of the country never thought tourism as an environment-friendly way to generate income. Last year, India has spent less than one per cent of its GDP on tourism, while China spent around 3.8 per cent of its GDP. European countries spend a greater part of their budget on tourism and thereby gain a lot from it, Nagapathy said.
'No professionalism'
"Though our slogan says 'Atithi Devo Bhava,' we are not following it and have become equal partners in robbing foreigners. Even the government discriminates against them. There is lack of professionalism which creates bad impression about the country. The State government has earmarked less than 0.5 per cent its budget (Rs 390 crore) for tourism last year. Interestingly, the government spent only Rs 90 crore in the first six months, while the remaining entire amount was spent in the next six months," he added.
Association president M R Vasudeva, SDM PG Centre for Management Studies and Research Director Dr Devaraj K were present among others.

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