New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) India's National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology Friday signed an agreement with Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism for promoting hospitality training and education.
The cooperation is expected to result in joint training opportunities in National Council's affiliated institutions and exchange of tourism and hospitality academics between the two countries, said Tourism Secretary A.K. Mishra.
Pointing out that India is targeting 10 million foreign tourists by 2012, up from about four million last year, Mishra said: 'In recognition of this potential, tourism has been included in the infrastructure sector and the government is making all efforts to improve tourism infrastructure, especially the first entry points like airports.'
This year India recorded over 13 percent growth in foreign tourist arrivals with the number rising to 3.06 million between January and September, up from 2.71 million in the corresponding period last year.
With the peak tourist months still ahead India hopes to receive over four million foreign visitors by the yearend.
To help India capitalise on the untapped potential, Mishra said: 'We need to offer well-packaged products to the international tourists and it is here that the cooperation with Australian tourism industry is going to help.'
As international linkages are critical in qualitative growth of hotel management institutes, the National Council recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the VATEL International Business School of France. Also on anvil is a pact with the Singapore Hotel Schools.