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Industry leader’s death transcends boundaries to revitalize tourism

Industry leader’s death transcends boundaries to revitalize tourism

The legendary veteran industry tourism leader, Inder Sharma, who passed away some months back, came back to life on August 29 when a book reading session was organized in New Delhi by his illustrious son, Arjun, and daughter, Neeraj.

Inder Sharma’s book, All Doors Opened, was released recently, and some players of the industry discussed the book, the person, and the issues close to the subject of Inder Sharma. Among those who spoke were V. K. Duggal, Vinod Zutshi, Ashwani Lohani, and Sajnani, who were key players over the years, as bureaucrats or scholar-researchers.

Sharma devoted much of his book on tourism, a subject close to his heart and work. Issues that came up included the setting up of a tourism board or an authority, the question of manpower, skills, infrastructure, a public-private partnership model, and inter- and intra-region travel. Remembering Sharma as a “man full of ideas,” former Tourism Minister and eminent Parliamentarian, Dr. Karan Singh said that the idea of a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) that people are talking about today, was put forward by Inder Sharma 50 years ago.

Inder Sharma spent decades trying to convince the authorities to give more attention to tourism, and this week’s book discussion helped in some way reinforce this need. He was the former owner and Chairman of SITA World Travel and Chairman of Select CITYWALK, Delhi’s landmark lifestyle shopping center.

According to Shri Anil Baijal, Lt. Governor of Delhi, “Shri Inder Sharma was a ‘man with a golden heart and dogged spirits’ whose views were always respected by one and all. Recollecting the years when both were members in the Board of Air India, Baijal said that as a stalwart of the travel and tourism industry, Sharma’s viewpoints always commanded respected in the Board.