Indian travel and tourism is at an important inflection point and the country is deservedly claiming its position on the world tourism stage with its presidency of the G20 providing the perfect platform, according to Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) Managing Director and CEO, Puneet Chhatwal.
In his address to shareholders in the company’s annual report for 2022-23, Chhatwal said India is on a growth path and the services sector including the travel and tourism business is emerging as a major growth engine for the Indian economy, having successfully put the pandemic behind.
“People are once again flying in great numbers, airports are crowded, hotels are well booked, and travellers want to explore, connect and feel alive through the exhilarating emotion of travel,” he wrote.
Chhatwal said India is deservedly claiming its position on the world tourism stage. “With India’s Presidency of the G20, we are positioned like never before to showcase our nation’s cultural heritage, our unique and differentiated travel offerings and our safe and tourist friendly destinations,” he said.
Tourism will be one of the most important pillars of the nation’s growth with its multiplier effect on economic prosperity and employment generation, Chhatwal added.
Citing World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) data, he said the sector is expected to create nearly 126 million new jobs globally within the next decade with at least 20 per cent from the Indian sub-continent.
“We believe that Indian travel and tourism is at an important inflection point today and IHCL is well placed to lead the way,” he noted. Chhatwal further said, “With industry-leading portfolio, footprint, brandscape as well as financial and balance sheet strength, IHCL is leading the way on all fronts, with value creation being the cornerstone of our strategy.”
He described 2022-23 as a “momentous year for expansion with IHCL having crossed 260 (plus) hotels” in its portfolio.
“In yet another landmark development, the iconic brand Taj reached a milestone of 100 hotels. Starting our journey in 1903 with our flagship hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, Taj has more than doubled the inventory in the last five years,” he added.