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India’s Tourism Sector

Why is it in the news?

  • According to Invest India, tourism Sector is expected to contribute USD 512 Billion to India’s GDP by 2028
Status of Tourism Sector

·        The Indian government allows 100% FDI through the automatic route in tourism construction projects, including the development of hotels, resorts, and recreational facilities.

·        India ranked 6th in terms of Travel & Tourism contribution to GDP in 2022, showcasing its position as a key player in the global tourism industry. However, it ranked 54th out of 117 countries in the Global Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021 of the World Economic Forum, indicating areas for improvement and competitiveness on a global scale.

Significance of Indian Tourism Sector

·        The tourism sector in India brings significant economic benefits, including employment generation and increased foreign exchange earnings. It is projected to create 53 million jobs by 2029, demonstrating its potential to drive employment growth in the country.

·        Tourism fosters social benefits such as developing understanding and respect for different cultures, enhancing the quality of life through improved infrastructure, and promoting social cohesion and inclusivity.

·        Tourism plays a crucial role in reviving cultural diversity and preserving the intangible heritage of the country, contributing to the preservation and promotion of India’s rich cultural heritage.

Growth Drivers for Tourism in India

·        Facilities like e-Tourist Visa have made travel to India more accessible and convenient for international tourists, thereby boosting tourism arrivals.

·        The increasing disposable income of the middle class has led to a growing demand for travel and tourism services, driving domestic and international tourism within India.

·        India’s reputation for providing affordable treatment, quality healthcare infrastructure, and highly skilled doctors at comparatively low costs has fuelled the growth of medical tourism in the country.

Concerns related to Indian Tourism Sector

·        Unregulated tourism activities can lead to ecological degradation and disturbance in sensitive natural habitats, posing a threat to biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

·        Inadequate infrastructure, including transportation, accommodation, and safety measures, can hinder the tourism experience and compromise visitor satisfaction and safety.

·        The tourism sector faces challenges related to the availability of trained and skilled manpower, which is essential for delivering high-quality tourism services and experiences.

Initiatives to Promote Tourism Sector

·        Swadesh Darshan 2.0: Aims to develop sustainable tourism destinations in India by following a destination and tourism-centric approach, focusing on infrastructure development, conservation, and community participation.

·        National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme: The PRASHAD scheme seeks to safeguard India’s ancient civilizational heritage by promoting pilgrimage tourism and enhancing the infrastructure and amenities at pilgrimage sites.

·        Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification Program: The program aims to create a pool of well-trained and professional tourist facilitators across the country to enhance the quality of tourist services and experiences.

·        Dekho Apna Desh Initiative: The initiative promotes domestic tourism by encouraging Indians to explore the diverse attractions and destinations within the country, thereby stimulating domestic travel and tourism activities.

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