Seldom it happens that a country that boasts of 9000 years of civilization, a heady mix of sand, sun, sea, mountains, culture and heritage lags behind other nations in attracting admirers from all over the world.
India has been a mixed bag on that front! While it boasts of incredible natural and cultural heritage, it has had its share of problems in the form of safety, hygiene, not-so-good infrastructure to evince the interest of tourists. However, now things seem to be changing!
WTTC Power and Performance Rankings
Assuming that you are aware of WTTC, I shall move ahead with it’s recently released Power and Performance rankings.
WTTC’s uses annual economic impact data of 185 countries over the last seven-year period (2011-2017) and puts in place 4 indicators:
The contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP
International visitor spend
Domestic tourism spend
Capital investment in tourism.
These indicators allow for a more rounded measure of performance and prioritization than the more usual measures of GDP contribution and international spend. These rankings have put China, USA, and India as the top 3 economies that have grown most in the absolute terms and grown in the fastest terms with respect to Tourism.
What do these rankings imply for India?
The rankings by global tourism thinktanks like WTTC, UNWTO etc monitor the progress made by countries on various parameters in order to make this place more tourism and cultural exchange friendly!
In the context of the WTTC Power and Performance rankings report, India can take pride in breaking into the top 3 and surging ahead of traditional Tourism powerhouses like Spain. Since this report takes into account 2011-2017 during which India saw the highly unfortunate Nirbhaya gang rape, whose ripples were felt all over the world. One of the most important and adversarial implication was that many countries issued advisories to their citizens against visiting India which meant that India’s visitor exports took a beating. However, even after such a big obstacle and a negative brand image build up, India has managed to make its way into the Top 3 rankings as a Tourism Powerhouse.
Based on their criteria for assigning ranks, this report also implies that India’s tourism sector has been contributing to the national GDP in a big way through revenue and employment generation. The following graphs would reveal India’s story:
This graph shows that India’s Travel and Tourism sector has been increasing its contribution to national GDP at a slow and steady pace.
This graph shows that India’s Travel and Tourism sector has been increasing its contribution to Employment generation in India through direct and indirect employment at a slow and steady pace.
Comparison of India’s Travel and Tourism stats at the global level
As the following graphs would show, India has been ranking above World Average and South Asia average on various Travel and Tourism parameters.
Read our previous blog: A memorable trip to Surajkund Mela from the eyes of Maureen and Maggie!
Read our previous blog: Accessible Tourism
Backed with the above points, it can be inferred that India has been doing a fairly good job in times of bullish global scenario. However, there are points of concern, while we work out a strategy to increase the foreigner rates, we have to pay heed to increase our infrastructure and increase online penetration. While the world sees an average contribution of 10% to the World GDP from Tourism and 10% contribution to global employment from Tourism, India sees a bit less.
According to the 12th Five Year Plan Working group report, tourism is the highest employment generator in India. With an investment of 1 million rupees, Agriculture generates 18 jobs, manufacturing sector generates 32 jobs while Tourism sector generates 78 jobs- the maximum for any sector.
[Read our book on Indian BnBs: Click here]
According to the current trend in the Hospitality industry, the millennials and other travelers are looking for more experiential and culturally immersive accommodations while on a tour. This has led to an increase in demand for Homestays/Bed and Breakfast accommodations in cities and suburban areas.
Homestays/BnBs/Bed and Breakfast accommodations are the best bet at increasing self-employment opportunities with the least amount of natural resources as each home-owner has the chance to start a venture of his/her own and serve the client well through a couple of attendants and a well-cooked breakfast! This is the apt opportunity for Government of India to take cognizance of India’s tourism sector and take appropriate steps to propel it further!