The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tourism has strength to withstand Iraq war

New Delhi, March 28: Tourism — caught between the cross-fire of the ongoing US-Iraq war — will be a serious casualty. However, experts are confident that the resilient industry will show up once again as India has the strength to face one crisis after the other.

“Unity is the best policy at the time of adversity. War climate is hovering on our heads and it is just the apt time to meet,” said Rati Vinay Jha, secretary tourism at the tenth South Asia Travel Tourism Exchange (SAATE) organised by India Tourism Development Corporation.

“There is tremendous potential for tourism in South Asia. Last five months have shown growth of 15.5 per cent in the sector,” she added. However, she pointed out that war is looming large on our heads and there is a certainty that worldwide tourism will decline.

Speaking on the same lines, Jagmohan, minister of tourism, said: “During the last few months, tourism sector has been successful in spite of various impediments on its way. While domestic tourism has grown by 27 per cent attracting almost 237 million tourists, international tourism received forex receipts worth 20 per cent.”

The country has looked towards the West and have not exploited the possibilities existing in south-east Asia. Countries like China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia need to be tapped. The World Trade Organisation can give great deal of encouragement, he added.

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