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Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, stresses on the importance of M!CE to grow tourism in India. IICC and Pragati Maidan are being developed to drive the M!CE market in the country

Amitabh Kant said that for India to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, the tourism sector can be one of the biggest drivers of India’s growth and jobs. “Tourism has immense multiplier impact in the economy but its impact as far as direct and indirect job creation is concerned, is truly formidable. Therefore, if there’s one sector which greatly creates jobs, it is the tourism sector and that’s what India needs, growth with jobs,” he stated.

He added, “I think there is a huge possibility of M!CE tourism in India and therefore the government is creating two global scale products for this sector— IICC near Dwarka, which is about five minutes from the airport, and I have been personally involved in it with an aim to create probably the biggest exhibition and convention centre there. It will be an iconic exhibition and convention centre and will be the largest in Southeast Asia, at par with what exists in Shanghai. It should be ready in about a year’s time as 50 per cent of work is already complete. We will also have around 14 hotels there. It will have a large-scale shopping and commercial development.

It’s like creating a completely new city in the heart of Delhi in Dwarka. It will also have two metros linked to it, and the roads have been widened for the same. It will be the biggest M!CE destination in Delhi and the government has taken the initiative of giving this land of around 350 acres at just `1. In addition to this, Pragati Maidan has been completely redeveloped again into a global scale product to drive the M!CE market. We have requested all other states to take similar initiatives to develop M!CE tourism and create similar kind of global scale infrastructure.”

I think there is a huge possibility of M!CE tourism in India and the govt is creating two global scale products for this sector

He also mentioned that there is a huge opportunity for cruise tourism. “We’ll do everything possible to open it up further. I feel that essentially, other than Rajasthan, Kerala and MP, there are very few states which have realised the significance and importance of tourism and therefore the private sector needs to work with state governments.

If there are 10 state champions who drive tourism and take it to high levels, then Indian tourism will automatically grow.

Hence, there is a need for state politicians and administrators to realise that this is the sector that is going to provide key growth, and in turn jobs will be created.”