The Hotels' Association of India (HAI) has announced that the hospitality and tourism sector will create 50 million direct and indirect jobs over the next 5-7 years. During the 6th HAI Hoteliers' Conclave, HAI President Puneet Chhatwal emphasised the need for government support to grant the industry and infrastructure status in states, unlocking the full potential of employment opportunities.
Chhatwal, also the Managing Director and CEO of Indian Hotels Company Ltd, highlighted the significance of infrastructure status for the hospitality sector. He stated that it could attract investments for accommodation creation and stimulate income and job generation. Despite tourism contributing 10 per cent to total employment and 8 per cent to GDP with substantial multiplier effects, Chhatwal noted a gap between realisations and policy implementation.
Addressing a press conference, HAI Vice-President K B Kachru revealed a 271 per cent increase in hirings over the past two years. Kachru, also the Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor South Asia of Radisson Hotel Group, emphasised the importance of focusing on tourism development at all levels to sustain the industry's growth.
"We are focusing to create over 50 million jobs in the next 5-7 years," stated Kachru. India's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant had urged the sector to communicate the creation of 25 million jobs by 2030 to politicians, emphasising the need for industry and infrastructure status.
Chhatwal underscored the government's focus on infrastructure development and its direct correlation with the sector's success. While the industry currently holds a status, Chhatwal highlighted limitations imposed 12 years ago. He added that a full infrastructure status and state-level industry status would enhance competitiveness and drive further growth.
Regarding states' granting of industry status, Kachru mentioned that while 11 states have taken this step, execution has faced some gaps. The call for government support resonates as the industry anticipates a significant economic boost through increased investments and job creation in the coming years.
(With inputs from PTI)