The tourism industry exists since the ancient era. However, it started growing at a healthy rate after the industrial revolution in England and Europe in the 17th century. The steam engine invented by Thomas Savery in the late 17th century and the first plane by wright brothers in the early 20th century was the stimulation for the Tourism industry. Now, it is one of the most profitable industries. Nothing can restrict its growth as people will never stop traveling. Once in a while, every single person travels either for work or for leisure.
Currently, the Tourism industry is the largest service industry in India. India being a diversified nation is on the verge of becoming a global destination. The tourism industry of India is incomparable because of its trends in diverse cultures.
What kind of experience you are looking for? Beaches or Mountains? Festivals or Food? Adventurous or Meditation? When we talk about Indian Tourism, it means everything! Tourism trends in India are growing as they offer a diverse portfolio of niche tourism – cruises, adventure, medical wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, rural and religious.
Tourism is now recognized as an economic activity of global significance. To maintain its global significance, attention has been given to this sector by Governments and Organisations. India’s rank in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of world economic forum has moved from 65th rank in 2013 to 34th rank in 2019.
Some Government Policies
- E-visa (e-Tourist visa, e-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa, and e- Medical Attendant Visa) has been liberalized. E- Tourist visa of 5-year duration has been launched. A one-month e-Tourist visa with double entry. Reduction in e- visa fee.
- Indian Government has reduced GST on hotel rooms with tariffs of Rs. 1.001 to 7,500/night to 12%; those above Rs. 7,501 to 18%.
- Introduction of various schemes like Swadesh Darshan, Prasad, etc. Swadesh Darshan aims to develop a theme- based Tourism. Each theme is called a circuit and compose of various tourist destinations. Whereas, Prasad scheme focuses on identifying and developing the pilgrim sites across the country.
- Introduction of various events under the scheme of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat.
- Opening of 137 Mountain Peaks for Mountaineering in India (51 Uttarakhand, 24 Sikkim, 47 in Himachal and 15 in Jammu & Kashmir).
All these initiatives led to a significant increase in FTAs (Foreign Tourist Arrivals). In 2018, FTAs were 93,66,478 and in 2019 it was 96,69,633 (growth of 3.2%). Growth of 23.8% on tourists arrived on e-tourist visa.
Contribution of Tourism Industry in various Economic aspects
The tourism sector has immense potential in adding to economic growth. It also contributes to the socio-economic development of the country through its multiplier effect. In 2018, the Tourism Industry in India contributed 9.2% to its GDP and supported 8.1% of its total employment. Foreign Exchange earnings have increased by 7.4%. in India. All these economic aspects are crucial for the growth of an economy.
The construction of National Highways at a rapid pace with more than 20% of the existing highway length of 132,000 km and extending flight connectivity to Tier3 and Tier4 towns in the country has encouraged more people to travel across the cities and nations.
With all Indian Government Schemes and all these figures growing every year, India is proving to be a large market for travel with a huge potential of gaining more through this sector. A large amount of Government spending on infrastructure is helping in reviving the virtuous cycle of investment, savings, and exports. Hence, there are a lot more opportunities around the corner.
About the author:
Muskan Puri is the youngest member of BnBNation. She is currently pursuing B.voc in Tourism and hospitality. An esoteric and a clairvoyant by nature, she is calm and composed till you ask her to make a 100-meter sprint! Apart from writing travel blogs and doing research, she can be found following sports, reading novels and magazines.