Kolkata:  More and more Indians are opting to travel alone as information dissemination has improved, a tourism industry expert said here Friday.

According to Sandeep Kulshreshtha, director, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, new tourists have increased knowledge about their destinations, high purchasing power and are price and quality conscious.

“Earlier tour operators were more concerned with group tourism but now single people tourism is flourishing. It is more individualistic and they are more demanding,” Kulshreshtha said at the ‘Travel India 2014’ conference organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

Highlighting a growth rate of 11.4 percent in foreign tourist arrivals between 1997 and 2013, he underscored the importance of a skilled workforce.

“Students with average marks can make it big in the tourism industry.

“People who are from a middle class family and who are not able to enroll themselves in the IITs and IIMs, this is the industry for them,” he said.

He said a good personality and communication skills are the most important qualities to make it big in the travel industry.

“You will find the highest paid salaries in the tourism industry,” Kulshreshtha said.

He said India needs to focus on three key areas – visa policy, infrastructure and health and hygiene – to come up in global rankings.

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