Tourism finance body sees ‘enthusiasm’ in investment

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, July 18:

The state-run Tourism Finance Corp of India Ltd (TFCI) is eyeing another year of healthy growth and profits, with the tourism industry back in an investment mode to create new properties. Over the next two years when India targets five million overseas tourists, up from about 3.5 million in 2004-05, and with the domestic tourist traffic set to grow sharply from over 10 million currently, industry bigwigs fear big gaps in accommodation and other infrastructure. “We estimate a requirement of 50,000-60,000 additional rooms by 2007. The current capacity of 94,000 rooms is far short of our needs,” said TFCI chairman and managing director M. Narayanan. “We estimate a need for about Rs 250 billion Indian Currency (IC) over the next two years. Last year we had provided about Rs 3 billion IC funding, as against Rs 30 billion IC cumulatively over the previous 15 years,” Narayanan said.

During 2005-06 “also we expect to provide about Rs 2-3 billion IC investment”, he said. Since the start of its operations, TFCI has helped to fund about 500 projects.