India Solidifies Tourism Base

India is firmly cementing its position as a star in the hotel industry, according to an analysis issued by Deloitte in its HotelBenchmark Survey. The company points to a growth of 13 percent to 3.9 million in international visitors to India in 2005 and a rapidly growing domestic market. Further, revenue per available room (revPAR) climbed by 31 percent last year, according to the survey, and preliminary results for the first eight months of 2006 show hotels are building on this with a year-to-date increase of 30.3 percent. Also contributing to a continued bright outlook for the country's international tourism market is its open skies agreements with the United States for unlimited flights between the two countries, as well as the lifting of restrictions for carriers across Europe and Asia, according to the report. Air India also has been adding destinations to its network, and has launched a low-cost carrier with international routes. In addition, Jet Airways is looking to expand to the U.S.

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