IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry felicitate Valsa Nair Singh

Industry leaders laud her active engagement, remarkable contribution to the travel, tourism and hospitality industry

IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a felicitation event and talk in the honour of Valsa Nair Singh (IAS), Principal Secretary, Tourism, Civil Aviation and State Excise, Government of Maharashtra at IMC. 

Speaking at the event, Ashwini Kakkar, former MD & CEO Thomas Cook India and Chairman, Action Against Hunger International Network; Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India and Sheldon Santwan, Editor & COO, Saffron Media Private Limited shared their thoughts about her active engagement, remarkable contribution to the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and personal experiences of working with her over the years.

While addressing the gathering, Singh opined that “to travel is to live”. She stated that the hospitality industry has received a fillip with the Government reducing the permission required to start a new hotel or restaurant from 72 to just 09. Further, applications for all these license/permit can be submitted online. She also shared that the state cabinet has awarded the hospitality sector the status of an industry. The decision will help revive the hospitality sector, which will be eligible for various benefits including rebates in water and property taxes, with regard to electricity charges it is under consideration.  

Singh stated that in order to bounce back the tourism sector in the state, the government has introduced the responsible tourism initiative along with encouraging policies such as the caravan tourism, agro tourism policy, beach shack policy and adventure tourism policy. Further, she shared that the government has taken efforts in building infrastructure, skilling in tourism, policy level interventions and planning aggressive marketing strategies to boost the State Tourism. She added that the government is exploring the opportunity to work on Public Private Partnership (PPP) models and have identified 30 new tourist properties which will be developed under the PPP model. 

While welcoming the chief guest, IMC President Juzar Khorakiwala said the Chamber sincerely appreciates and values her efforts over the past several years in facilitating and promoting tourism in Maharashtra. Under her able and astute leadership the state saw many firsts like introduction of 'New Tourism Policy', 'Maharashtra International Travel Mart', 'Visit Maharashtra Campaign', and ‘Industry Status to the Hospitality Industry’ to name a few. All of these and many other initiatives have had a huge positive impact on Tourism development and promoting ease of doing business in Maharashtra.

Farhat Jamal, Chairman, Travel Tourism and Hospitality of the Chamber, shared with audience that the International Women's Day which will be celebrated on March 08, it is an opportunity to celebrate the successes and strides that women have achieved in the workplace. The event has been organised for her outstanding contribution and stellar leadership over the past several years in facilitating and promoting tourism in Maharashtra. Jamal said that in most regions of the world, women make up the majority of the tourism workforce, about 54 per cent of the total. Further, he said that during the last decades, tourism grew steadily, and is expected to be US$ 460 billion industry for India by 2028. By evolving from stereotypes state of women and tourism is going to transform in coming years.

The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Anant Singhania, Vice President, IMC who expressed confidence that the industry would soon see an upward trend.


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