Tourism can give more jobs: HRAO

Bhubaneswar: Asking the state government to give maximum thrust on tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO) today said the sector has potential to provide more jobs than industries and agriculture.

Describing tourism as a labour oriented sector, HRAO said according to a comparison presented to the Planning Commission by Tourism Ministry, for every Rs 10 lakh spent, manufacturing industries give employment to 18 people.

Similarly agriculture gives employment to 45 people but tourism gives employment to more than 78 people, it said in a statement here.

"Taking a clue from this, HRAO proposes Orissa government to give maximum thrust to tourism to provide every Oriya with a job," said Association Chairman J K Mohanty.

He said the central government in the 12th Five Year Plan plans to provide 25.9 million jobs in the tourism sector which will bring in foreign exchange earning worth 15.7 billion dollars.?

Looking at the way tourism is growing, HRAO has called for a State Level Workshop on the Tourism Growth of the State here tomorrow, Mohanty said.

To be able to compete with neighbouring states, HRAO has submitted a proposal to the state government that by the year 2014 we need additional 4000 rooms in the 3 star category and 2000 rooms in the five star category. This would need an investment of around Rs 3000 crore, he said.

The additional 5,000 rooms can generate income of 3000 crore in the 3 star category and 2000 crores in the five star category, the HRAO chairman.

Apart from this the addition 5000 rooms would give direct and indirect employment to 1,50,000 people which no other pollution free industry can give, Mohanty said.

The rooms must be spread out across the state as our state is filled with flora and fauna in all the districts.

Unless we put the product in place first, we cannot sell Orissa aggressively.

To produce 150,000 trained work force, we need to open up a large number of Hotel Management Institutes throughout the state. We should not concentrate only in the golden triangle of Puri-Konark and Bhubaneswar, he said.

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