By Ambuj Saxena
Tourism is a vibrant sector in world economy. It creates jobs, both through direct employment within the tourism industry and indirectly in sectors such as retail and transportation. When tourists spend their wages on goods and services, it leads to what is known as the “multiplier effect,” creating more jobs. The tourism industry also provides opportunities for small-scale business enterprises, which is especially important in rural communities, and generates extra tax revenues, such as airport and hotel taxes, which can be used for schools, housing and hospitals.
Contribution to Indian economy: While tourism contributes 6.8% GDP and 8.7% of total GDP towards employment generation, it generates $2.1 billion Foreign Exchange earnings.
Tourism as an Employment generator: An Investment of Rs. 10 lakh generates employment of 78 people if invested in Tourism and Hospitality sector while the same amount of investment generates 45 and 18 jobs in the Manufacturing and Agriculture sectors respectively.
[Source: Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.]
Global ranking of India
Moreover, India has less than 1% global FTA, 0.68% to be precise.
Isn’t it strange that a country with 27 World Heritage sites, 10 Biosphere Reserves, 7500 km long coastline, 9000 years of cultural heritage is lagging behind other countries when it comes to tourism?
Why does India have a lower than 1% FTA globally?
- Lack of short-term, medium term and long term goals in the tourism sector.
- Poor infrastructure including badly maintained roads
- Poor traffic management: Sprawling traffic in metropolitan cities
- Reckless driving
- Filthy and overcrowded railway stations make it difficult to get seats on the train
- Internal flights are expensive and lack connectivity to hinterland
- Unsafe environment- Nirbhaya murder case has dent India’s image on the global tourism map
- Lack of Tourist police which leads to harassment of foreign tourists!
So where should India concentrate its efforts? How can we, as citizens play our role in encouraging people to visit India for religious, leisure, business or other purposes?
May be the answer lies in adequate budget allocation, robust macroeconomic policies and our behavior and mindset.
In the upcoming blog, BnBNation team shall analyse what does the Union Budget 2017 contain for the Tourism sector. We shall suggest what more could the Finance Minister have done to propel India’s tourism sector in Budget 2017 .
Watch this space for more. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.
About the Author:
Ambuj Saxena is Co-Founder at BnBNation.com. He is a 2013 Brand Management graduate from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA). He has successfully executed various online and offline marketing campaigns for companies operating in Automobile, Fashion and Lifestyle, Travel and Tourism sectors as well as Government departments. He has co-founded BnBNation as he believes that Tourism and Hospitality is as much online as it is offline, and he can add value to both. BnBNation covers specific events that showcase India’s cultural heritage.
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