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'India among top 5 tourism spots'

India has been marked as the world's fastest growing market for tourism by World Travel and Tourism Council and is among the top five preferred destinations in the world, C P Krishnan Nair, Chairman, Leela Group of Hotels, said in Manipal.

Speaking at the Welcoming Group Graduate School of Hotel Administration on Tuesday, he said five-star deluxe properties had increased from 92 in 1995 to 152 in 2003.

Hotel rooms have also increased by almost 165 per cent over the last eight years.

Today, almost 9 million people are employed directly in the hospitality industry, while another 15 million are employed in sectors connected with the industry, Nair said.

The world has finally waken up to the potential of Indian tourism, he said, adding it is not for opulent interiors or great food alone that guests return to a hotel.

"It is for people, whose service quality they appreciate, and you need to make sure you are the reason for that service," he added.