India is currently ranked 34th in the travel and tourism competitiveness report 2019 published by the World Economic Forum
One of the fast-emerging tourist destinations in the world, India is knowing for its enormous travel and tourism industry in India. The sector is one of the largest in the country, as it contributed nearly 250 billion USD to India’s GDP in the year 2018. The sector has created millions of jobs over a few years, playing a crucial role in bolstering the country’s economy.
India makes for great tourist attention, as the country has got it all. Be it the beautiful landscapes or the beaches, snow-laden mountains or large deserts, diverse culture, traditions, and beliefs, the South Asian country is worth a visit at any time of the year. The marketing initiatives like the ‘Incredible India’ campaign have boosted the tourism sector considerably in the last 2 decades, attracting both domestic and international travelers.
In the year 2018, Indian attracted over 10 million foreign tourists from all across the world. On the other hand, schemes like ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ are persuading the locals to explore the country. A person who travels to 15 destinations within a year and documents the same will be eligible for an incentive, as per the scheme. The initiative mainly targets India’s middle class with rising disposable income and a love for exploring the country.
Domestic tourists have always tapped the potential of the travel and tourism industry in India, while the local firms have also been setting up great offers with low fares and tour packages to seek interest. The country is boosted by more than 120 airports and low-cost airline operators, making India one of the largest aviation markets in the world. It must be said that the potential of this sector in India is way more than what the country has attained till now, and the authorities would do well to expand it more in the coming years.
On the other hand, when it comes to the hospitality sector, the scenario is no different with the industry witnessing strong and consistent growth and the potential to offer a lot more in the future. The occupancy rate of the hotels in India has surprisingly remained stable over the last many years with a wave of new development, improved connectivity, and safety for travelers. The advent of the tech-based model has further tapped the potential of the travel and tourism industry in India, as players like OYO rooms, homestays, FabHotels, among others have taken over the traditional names and marketing methodology. The amenities offered by the hotels associated with these brands at a low cost was unimaginable a couple of decades back.
India is currently ranked 34th in the travel and tourism competitiveness report 2019 published by the World Economic Forum. The sector’s GDP is likely to increase from Rs 15.24 lakh crore in 2017 to Rs 32.05 lakh crore in 2028. It employs nearly 39 million people, making for 8 percent of the total employment in the country. Under a new scheme launched by the government known as ‘Swadesh Darshan’, 77 projects have been sanctioned worth Rs 6,035.70 crore in the Union Budget of the year 2021.
The central government in the last many years has been doing a lot to increase investment in the tourism sector. Unfortunately, the pandemic has struck at the wrong time to all but stop the growth trajectory of the industry. The situation was looking quite grim for a major part of the year 2020, with the sector almost coming to a standstill. However, the unlocking process has begun on the right note and the industry is looking for a jailbreak in the nick of time.
At this juncture, there may not be a silver lining yet for the travel and tourism industry in India, but some sustainable efforts could see a revival of sorts in the sector, as we gear up to welcome a new year with new expectations. The government will need to rise up to the occasion and come up with appropriate reforms, considering the situation around the globe and the fear of more waves affecting the travelers and causing further disruptions to the economic growth.
The tourists are concerned about their safety in the wake of the health crisis and the hustle and bustle in big cities has taken a beating with people choosing less-populated areas to spend their holidays. So, the focus has shifted to less-explored sites, especially in developing countries. There are thousands of offbeat areas in India that are budget-friendly to visit and these areas can gain traction if they are made a little more engaging. However, the business travelers do not have such luxury and will continue to log in to the hotels based in main cities, keeping the business of hoteliers alive to some extent.
This is where the introduction of the covid-19 vaccine is likely to play a pivotal role. A new hope is set to emerge with the vaccination drive set to resume in India anytime soon that will help in building the confidence, which is the need of the hour in a sector like travel and tourism. With zero or no risk of transmitting the virus, the travelers will feel free to choose any destination to spend their vacations.
The immunity passport is not only expected to make the journey easier for the travelers but is also likely to help the enterprises resume normal business and attract more visitors. The travel and tourism industry in India can get back to the pre-covid-19 situation and witness a major boom in the coming years, given the situation improves considerably and there are no more pandemics in the beckoning.
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