Opportunities enormous for certain sports, tourism: Experts [Asian News International]
(Asian News International Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) New Delhi, Mar.22 (ANI): Experts taking part in a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized roundtable meeting on Sports Tourism in India, have said opportunities are enormous for certain sports and tourism.
The event, which was held at the CII's Mantosh Sondhi Centre, witnessed the participation of a number of eminent speakers.
Subhash Goyal, President, IATO, emphasized the great importance that sports and tourism have and was appreciative that CII had taken great initiative for organizing Roundtable on Sports Tourism in India.
He mentioned that the opportunities were enormous and certain sports like golf, polo, tennis, cricket, soccer have immense potential for enhancing tourism.
However, he added, that this needs to be done in a more systematic manner both from the tourism industry, state governments and sports associations of India.
Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures, mentioned that there is ample scope for adventure sports in India, but it needs to be emphasized more.
"The national parks of our country should include some sort of adventure sport," he said.
He suggested that every state should have an "Active India" campaign mantra for India's success.
Golfer Gaurav Ghei emphasized that India is a popular golf destination.
"It is becoming one of the greatest sport in India and golf is a multibillion industry. However, in our country, there is an immense need to improve the infrastructure at the golf courses. It is quite unreasonable for a golfer to pay for playing this sport. The golf courses in India are open for only members, bankers or selected group of people. For a non-member it becomes very expensive and difficult to pay through his pocket. In India, we must have tourism friendly golf courses. In India, land is very expensive and it is not easy to get open spaces for golf courses. To run the golf industry in India, it is very important to introduce online booking facility. The overall golfing experience should be made much more enjoyable," he said.
Anil Khanna, President, All India Tennis Association, mentioned that the campaign for IPL 'Brand India' has been great which can be magnified further for other sports as well like tennis etc.
"Tennis is a great tourism attraction all over the world and there is a need to have better marketing strategies for making Tennis more tourism friendly," he said.
The other speakers were: Maj Gen MS Sandhu,VSM, Former Secretary Indian Polo Association and a Polo Player; Askari H. Zaidi, Senior Vice President with Jaypee Group who has been closely associated for the Formula One in India; Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, is the First Balloonist and Founder, Balloning in India; Sangeeta S Bahl, Amateur Mountaineer and has already achieved climbing 3 Summits and is aiming for 7 Summits of the World.
There was very good participation from all disciplines of sports associations and also travel and trade industry.
It was announced that there would be a conference on sports tourism to be held next year.
The outcome of the discussion at the Roundtable were there should be -
High visibility of sports promotion in electronic media, print media and brochures.
Sports Infrastructure development in the country.
Tourists offices of the Govt of India abroad should create more awareness on sports tourism
There is a disconnect between the tour operators and sports associations. Hence, more awareness should be created between these two bodies.
Marketing of the products - sports tourism should be greatly improved for promoting sports tourism. (ANI)
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