INDIAN hoteliers have proposed to the central government to declare 2015 as Visit India Year, in view of the much-anticipated Electronic Travel Authorization scheme to be implemented this December.
The recommendation was made at the annual 49th convention of Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), which concluded yesterday.
FHRAI president, S M Shervani, said: "With the new government's pro-tourism approach, a list of festivals can be created for promotional purpose as part of the Visit India Year.
“The hospitality industry can also be given a boost with entertainment and luxury tax exemptions."
Lemon Tree Hotels & Resorts president, Rahul Pandit, opined: "If 2015 is declared Visit India Year and all Indian states support the initiative, it will lead to the travel and tourism industry getting the same importance that other sectors like medicine have traditionally been getting.
"The economy of many countries, like Dubai and Sri Lanka, is being fuelled by tourism as it generates foreign exchange and is an employment generator.
"Hence, this industry has to be seen as having strategic importance, and declaring 2015 for the campaign will help in this respect."