Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tourism Min mulls mega-shopping events by CWG2010

The Tourism ministry is working closely with the ministries of railways and civil aviation for setting up budget hotels accomodating 1,30,000 rooms and convention centres across the country to improve connectivity and accommodation by 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The ministry also plans to organise four shopping events in three states of the country to attract more tourists and popularise hallmarked jewellery in India, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni told reporters at the 10th edition of the Festival of Gold here today.

''Besides the ministries of railways and civil aviation, we are in talks with the Finance ministry to give tax incentives to the people involved in developing the proposed infrastructure. We plan to hold at least four shopping events before CWG 2010,'' Ms Soni said.

''The purpose behind the endeavour is to co-relate tourism and the jewellery industry and also to promote the gold jewellers in India through such exposure. The ministry has identified Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh for the mega-events and is yet to finalise the third state.'' Citing that the tourism sector had the ''maximum potential'' for employment, the Minister said the events will act as an add-on for the tourists visiting India during CWG 2010 and will explore vast job opportunities for everyone involved.

The proposed events are being planned on themes like the 'Surajkund Mela' in Haryana with jewellery being one of the segments besides participation from the artisans, cotton industry and the small and medium enterprises, but on a bigger level, Ms Soni said.

MMMTC Ltd, the biggest bullion trader of gold with 20 per cent of Indian gold imports coming through it, recorded sales of Rs 13 crore from the gold festival last year and expects to earn about Rs 20 crore with over 70,000 pieces kept for display in its 10th year.

''Looking at the behaviour of gold in the international market, the current time is the best time to buy gold. We expect a sale of Rs 2-3 crore everday from the 7-day event,'' MMTC Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Batra said.

MMTC clocked a turnover of Rs 16,300 crore during the last fiscal, out of which 50 per cent was contributed by gold. The company has already posted a turnover of Rs 11,200 crore in the six months ending September 30, 2006 during the current fiscal 2006-07 and aims to post Rs 23,000 crore as turnover by the end of the financial year 2006-07, he said.

Besides, the company also launched a portal for selling 'Sanchi' silver products and gold coins and medallions to its customers online.


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