Development Of Tourism In India Icse Project – Top 10 Tourist Destinations In India. Tourism in India, known for the vast number of tourist places across its expanse, has a mix of everything, from cultures to natural beauty and adventure activities to beautiful beaches. So if you are planning to visit the country, you should definitely not miss the places listed below (well, at least not all of them). We have covered all of our favourites, from hill stations to beaches to cities, showcasing the culture and much more to get you to experience the best of tourism in India.
Best Tourist Places in India
Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening ?diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Tourism has become a thriving global industry with the power to shape developing countries in both positive and negative ways. No doubt it has become the fourth largest industry in the global economy.
Similarly, in developing countries like India tourism has become one of the major sectors of the economy, contributing to a large proportion of the National Income and generating huge employment opportunities. It has become the fastest growing service industry in the country with great potentials for its further expansion and diversification. However, there are pros and cons involved with the development of tourism industry in the country. Let us discuss the development as well as the negative and positive impacts of tourism industry in India.
DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN INDIA
The first conscious and organized efforts to promote tourism in India were made in 1945 when a committee was set up by the Government under the Chairmanship of Sir John Sargent, the then Educational Adviser to the Government of India (Krishna, A.G., 1993). Thereafter, the development of tourism was taken up in a planned manner in 1956 coinciding with the Second Five Year Plan. The approach has evolved from isolated planning of single unit facilities in the Second and Third Five Year Plans. The Sixth Plan marked the beginning of a new era when tourism began to be considered a major instrument for social integration and economic development.
But it was only after the 80’s that tourism activity gained momentum. The Government took several significant steps. A National Policy on tourism was announced in 1982. Later in 1988, the National Committee on Tourism formulated a comprehensive plan for achieving a sustainable growth in tourism. In 1992, a National Action Plan was prepared and in 1996 the National Strategy for Promotion of Tourism was drafted. In 1997, the New Tourism Policy recognises the roles of Central and State governments, public sector undertakings and the private sector in the development of tourism were. The need for involvement of Panchayati Raj institutions, local bodies, non-governmental organisations and the local youth in the creation of tourism facilities has also been recognised.
Present Situation and Features of Tourism in India
Today tourism is the largest service industry in India, with a contribution of 6.23% to the national GDP and providing 8.78% of the total employment. India witnesses more than 5 million annual foreign tourist arrivals and 562 million domestic tourism visits. The tourism industry in India generated about US$100 billion in 2008 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate. The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the development and promotion of tourism in India and maintains the “Incredible India” campaign.
According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India will be a tourism hotspot from 2009-2018, having the highest 10-year growth potential. As per the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 by the World Economic Forum, India is ranked 11th in the Asia Pacific region and 62nd overall, moving up three places on the list of the world’s attractive destinations. It is ranked the 14th best tourist destination for its natural resources and 24th for its cultural resources, with many World Heritage Sites, both natural and cultural, rich fauna, and strong creative industries in the country. India also bagged 37th rank for its air transport network. The India travel and tourism industry ranked 5th in the long-term (10-year) growth and is expected to be the second largest employer in the world by 2019. The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi are expected to significantly boost tourism in India further. [www.ibef.org/industry/tourismhospitality.aspx]
Moreover, India has been ranked the “best country brand for value-for-money” in the Country Brand Index (CBI) survey conducted by Future Brand, a leading global brand consultancy. India also claimed the second place in CBI’s “best country brand for history”, as well as appears among the top 5 in the best country brand for authenticity and art & culture, and the fourth best new country for business. India made it to the list of “rising stars” or the countries that are likely to become major tourist destinations in the next five years, led by the United Arab Emirates, China, and Vietnam. [www.ibef.org/industry/tourismhospitality.aspx]
Tourist Attractions in India: India is a country known for its lavish treatment to all visitors, no matter where they come from. Its visitor-friendly traditions, varied life styles and cultural heritage and colourful fairs and festivals held abiding attractions for the tourists. The other attractions include beautiful beaches, forests and wild life and landscapes for eco-tourism; snow, river and mountain peaks for adventure tourism; technological parks and science museums for science tourism; centres of pilgrimage for spiritual tourism; heritage, trains and hotels for heritage tourism. Yoga, ayurveda and natural health resorts and hill stations also attract tourists.
The Indian handicrafts particularly, jewellery, carpets, leather goods, ivory and brass work are the main shopping items of foreign tourists. It is estimated through survey that nearly forty per cent of the tourist expenditure on shopping is spent on such items.
Despite the economic slowdown, medical tourism in India is the fastest growing segment of tourism industry, according to the market research report “Booming Medical Tourism in India”. The report adds that India offers a great potential in the medical tourism industry. Factors such as low cost, scale and range of treatments provided in the country add to its attractiveness as a medical tourism destination.
Initiatives to Boost Tourism: Some of the recent initiatives taken by the Government to boost tourism include grant of export house status to the tourism sector and incentives for promoting private investment in the form of Income Tax exemptions, interest subsidy and reduced import duty. The hotel and tourism-related industry has been declared a high priority industry for foreign investment which entails automatic approval of direct investment up to 51 per cent of foreign equity and allowing 100 per cent non-resident Indian investment and simplifying rules regarding the grant of approval to travel agents, tour operators and tourist transport operators.
The first-ever Indian Tourism Day was celebrated on January 25, 1998. The Year 1999 was celebrated as Explore India Millennium Year by presenting a spectacular tableau on the cultural heritage of India at the Republic Day Parade and organising India Tourism Expo in New Delhi and Khajuraho. Moreover, the campaign ‘Visit India Year 2009’ was launched at the International Tourism Exchange in Berlin, aimed to project India as an attractive destination for holidaymakers. The government joined hands with leading airlines, hoteliers, holiday resorts and tour operators, and offered them a wide range of incentives and bonuses during the period between April and December, 2009.
Future Prospects:According to the latest Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research, released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and its strategic partner Oxford Economics in March 2009:
- The demand for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow by 8.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 and will place India at the third position in the world.
- India’s travel and tourism sector is expected to be the second largest employer in the world, employing 40,037,000 by 2019.
- Capital investment in India’s travel and tourism sector is expected to grow at 8.8 per cent between 2010 and 2019.
- The report forecasts India to get capital investment worth US$ 94.5 billion in the travel and tourism sector in 2019.
- India is projected to become the fifth fastest growing business travel destination from 2010-2019 with an estimated real growth rate of 7.6 per cent.
Constraints: The major constraint in the development of tourism in India is the non-availability of adequate infrastructure including adequate air seat capacity, accessibility to tourist destinations, accommodation and trained manpower in sufficient number.
Poor visitor experience, particularly, due to inadequate infrastructural facilities, poor hygienic conditions and incidents of touting and harassment of tourists in some places are factors that contribute to poor visitor experience.
IMPACT OF TOURISM IN INDIA
Tourism industry in India has several positive and negative impacts on the economy and society. These impacts are highlighted below.
1. Generating Income and Employment: Tourism in India has emerged as an instrument of income and employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. It contributes 6.23% to the national GDP and 8.78% of the total employment in India. Almost 20 million people are now working in the India’s tourism industry.
3. Source of Foreign Exchange Earnings: Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange earnings in India. This has favourable impact on the balance of payment of the country. The tourism industry in India generated about US$100 billion in 2008 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate.
4. Preservation of National Heritage and Environment: Tourism helps preserve several places which are of historical importance by declaring them as heritage sites. For instance, the Taj Mahal, the Qutab Minar, Ajanta and Ellora temples, etc, would have been decayed and destroyed had it not been for the efforts taken by Tourism Department to preserve them. Likewise, tourism also helps in conserving the natural habitats of many endangered species.
5. Developing Infrastructure: Tourism tends to encourage the development of multiple-use infrastructure that benefits the host community, including various means of transports, health care facilities, and sports centers, in addition to the hotels and high-end restaurants that cater to foreign visitors. The development of infrastructure has in turn induced the development of other directly productive activities.
6. Promoting Peace and Stability: Honey and Gilpin (2009) suggests that the tourism industry can also help promote peace and stability in developing country like India by providing jobs, generating income, diversifying the economy, protecting the environment, and promoting cross-cultural awareness. However, key challenges like adoption of regulatory frameworks, mechanisms to reduce crime and corruption, etc, must be addressed if peace-enhancing benefits from this industry are to be realized.
1. Undesirable Social and Cultural Change: Tourism sometimes led to the destruction of the social fabric of a community. The more tourists coming into a place, the more the perceived risk of that place losing its identity. A good example is Goa. From the late 60’s to the early 80’s when the Hippy culture was at its height, Goa was a haven for such hippies. Here they came in thousands and changed the whole culture of the state leading to a rise in the use of drugs, prostitution and human trafficking. This had a ripple effect on the country.
2. Increase Tension and Hostility: Tourism can increase tension, hostility, and suspicion between the tourists and the local communities when there is no respect and understanding for each other’s culture and way of life. This may further lead to violence and other crimes committed against the tourists. The recent crime committed against Russian tourist in Goa is a case in point.
3. Creating a Sense of Antipathy: Tourism brought little benefit to the local community. In most all-inclusive package tours more than 80% of travelers’ fees go to the airlines, hotels and other international companies, not to local businessmen and workers. Moreover, large hotel chain restaurants often import food to satisfy foreign visitors and rarely employ local staff for senior management positions, preventing local farmers and workers from reaping the benefit of their presence. This has often created a sense of antipathy towards the tourists and the government.
4. Adverse Effects on Environment and Ecology: One of the most important adverse effects of tourism on the environment is increased pressure on the carrying capacity of the ecosystem in each tourist locality. Increased transport and construction activities led to large scale deforestation and destabilisation of natural landforms, while increased tourist flow led to increase in solid waste dumping as well as depletion of water and fuel resources. Flow of tourists to ecologically sensitive areas resulted in destruction of rare and endangered species due to trampling, killing, disturbance of breeding habitats. Noise pollution from vehicles and public address systems, water pollution, vehicular emissions, untreated sewage, etc. also have direct effects on bio-diversity, ambient environment and general profile of tourist spots.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF TOURISM IN INDIA
The tourism industry in India can have several positive and negative impact on the environment which are discuss below.
1. Direct Financial Contributions
Tourism can contribute directly to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. Revenue from park-entrance fees and similar sources can be allocated specifically to pay for the protection and management of environmentally sensitive areas. Special fees for park operations or conservation activities can be collected from tourists or tour operators.
2. Contributions to Government Revenues
The Indian government through the tourism department also collect money in more far-reaching and indirect ways that are not linked to specific parks or conservation areas. User fees, income taxes, taxes on sales or rental of recreation equipment, and license fees for activities such as rafting and fishing can provide governments with the funds needed to manage natural resources. Such funds can be used for overall conservation programs and activities, such as park ranger salaries and park maintenance.
3. Improved Environmental Management and Planning
Sound environmental management of tourism facilities and especially hotels can increase the benefits to natural environment. By planning early for tourism development, damaging and expensive mistakes can be prevented, avoiding the gradual deterioration of environmental assets significant to tourism. The development of tourism has moved the Indian government towards this direction leading to improved environmental management.
4. Raising Environmental Awareness
Tourism has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with nature and the environment. This confrontation heightens awareness of the value of nature among the community and lead to environmentally conscious behavior and activities to preserve the environment.
6. Protection and Preservation of Environment
Tourism can significantly contribute to environmental protection, conservation and restoration of biological diversity and sustainable use of natural resources. Because of their attractiveness, pristine sites and natural areas are identified as valuable and the need to keep the attraction alive can lead to creation of national parks and wildlife parks.
In India, new laws and regulations have been enacted to preserve the forest and to protect native species. The coral reefs around the coastal areas and the marine life that depend on them for survival are also protected.
1. Depletion of Natural Resources: Tourism development can put pressure on natural resources when it increases consumption in areas where resources are already scarce.
(i) Water resources: Water, especially fresh water, is one of the most critical natural resources. The tourism industry generally overuses water resources for hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use of water by tourists. This can result in water shortages and degradation of water supplies, as well as generating a greater volume of waste water. (www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/envi/index.html). In dryer regions like Rajasthan, the issue of water scarcity is of particular concern.
(ii) Local resources: Tourism can create great pressure on local resources like energy, food, and other raw materials that may already be in short supply. Greater extraction and transport of these resources exacerbates the physical impacts associated with their exploitation. Because of the seasonal character of the industry, many destinations have ten times more inhabitants in the high season as in the low season. A high demand is placed upon these resources to meet the high expectations tourists often have (proper heating, hot water, etc.).
(iii) Land degradation: Important land resources include minerals, fossil fuels, fertile soil, forests, wetland and wildlife. Increased construction of tourism and recreational facilities has increased the pressure on these resources and on scenic landscapes. Direct impact on natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable, in the provision of tourist facilities is caused by the use of land for accommodation and other infrastructure provision, and the use of building materials (www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/envi/index.html)
Forests often suffer negative impacts of tourism in the form of deforestation caused by fuel wood collection and land clearing e.g. the trekking in the Himalayan region, Sikkim and Assam.
Tourism can cause the same forms of pollution as any other industry: air emissions, noise, solid waste and littering, releases of sewage, oil and chemicals, even architectural/visual pollution (www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/envi/index.html).
(i) Air and Noise Pollution: Transport by air, road, and rail is continuously increasing in response to the rising number of tourist activities in India. Transport emissions and emissions from energy production and use are linked to acid rain, global warming and photochemical pollution. Air pollution from tourist transportation has impacts on the global level, especially from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions related to transportation energy use. And it can contribute to severe local air pollution. Some of these impacts are quite specific to tourist activities where the sites are in remote areas like Ajanta and Ellora temples. For example, tour buses often leave their motors running for hours while the tourists go out for an excursion because they want to return to a comfortably air-conditioned bus.
Noise pollution from airplanes, cars, and buses, as well as recreational vehicles is an ever-growing problem of modern life. In addition to causing annoyance, stress, and even hearing loss for humans, it causes distress to wildlife, especially in sensitive areas (www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/envi/index.html).
(ii) Solid waste and littering: In areas with high concentrations of tourist activities and appealing natural attractions, waste disposal is a serious problem and improper disposal can be a major despoiler of the natural environment – rivers, scenic areas, and roadsides.
In mountain areas of the Himalayas and Darjeeling, trekking tourists generate a great deal of waste. Tourists on expedition leave behind their garbage, oxygen cylinders and even camping equipment. Such practices degrade the environment particularly in remote areas because they have few garbage collection or disposal facilities (www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/envi/index.html).
(iii) Sewage: Construction of hotels, recreation and other facilities often leads to increased sewage pollution. Wastewater has polluted seas and lakes surrounding tourist attractions, damaging the flora and fauna. Sewage runoff causes serious damage to coral reefs because it stimulates the growth of algae, which cover the filter-feeding corals, hindering their ability to survive. Changes in salinity and siltation can have wide-ranging impacts on coastal environments. And sewage pollution can threaten the health of humans and animals. Examples of such pollution can be seen in the coastal states of Goa, Kerela, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, etc.
3. Destruction and Alteration of Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a geographic area including all the living organisms (people, plants, animals, and micro-organisms), their physical surroundings (such as soil, water, and air), and the natural cycles that sustain them. Attractive landscape sites, such as sandy beaches in Goa, Maharashtra, Kerela, Tamil Nadu; lakes, riversides, and mountain tops and slopes, are often transitional zones, characterized by species-rich ecosystems. The threats to and pressures on these ecosystems are often severe because such places are very attractive to both tourists and developers. Examples may be cited from Krushedei Island near Rameswaram. What was once called paradise for marine biologists has been abandoned due to massive destruction of coral and other marine life. Another area of concern which emerged at Jaisalmer is regarding the deterioration of the desert ecology due to increased tourist activities in the desert.
Moreover, habitat can be degraded by tourism leisure activities. For example, wildlife viewing can bring about stress for the animals and alter their natural behavior when tourists come too close. Safaris and wildlife watching activities have a degrading effect on habitat as they often are accompanied by the noise and commotion created by tourists.
Tourism industry in India is growing and it has vast potential for generating employment and earning large amount of foreign exchange besides giving a fillip to the country’s overall economic and social development. But much more remains to be done. Eco-tourism needs to be promoted so that tourism in India helps in preserving and sustaining the diversity of the India’s natural and cultural environments. Tourism in India should be developed in such a way that it accommodates and entertains visitors in a way that is minimally intrusive or destructive to the environment and sustains & supports the native cultures in the locations it is operating in. Moreover, since tourism is a multi-dimensional activity, and basically a service industry, it would be necessary that all wings of the Central and State governments, private sector and voluntary organisations become active partners in the endeavour to attain sustainable growth in tourism if India is to become a world player in the tourism industry.
Krishna, A.G., 1993 “Case study on the effects of tourism on culture and the environment:
India; Jaisalmer, Khajuraho and Goa”
Honey, Martha and Gilpin, Raymond, Special Report, 2009, “Tourism in the Developing World – Promoting Peace and Reducing Poverty”
Market Research Division, Ministry of tourism, GOI, 2009 “Tourism Statistics 2008”
TOURISM IN INDIA
Gursharan Jeet Kaur and Gopal Kumar Johari
Guru Ram Dass School of Planning,
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, INDIA
In 1947, immediately after independence, the focus of development in India
was on key areas like agriculture, housing, industry, irrigation, infrastructure
and other social sectors. So in the field of tourism, India has been a late starter
and has started getting attention in the last two decades only. The phenomenal
explosion of international and domestic tourism is an inevitable by-product of
the prosperity that India has achieved in recent times. It been duly recognized
in National Tourism Policy, 2002 that Tourism not only generates employment
but also upgrades human skills.
The infrastructure created for Tourism can be
used by all other sectors of the economy. Therefore, development of Tourism
must not be viewed in isolation and the states must adopt an integrated
approach and action plan for its development. Presently, as far as approach
for development of Tourism in India is concerned, there are many areas which
lack emphasis like inadequate awareness about tourist spots, no surveys and
studies relating these tourists spots, no norms and standards for the planning
and development of these tourist spots, neglect of heritage tourism, neglect
of traditional arts, craft & culture, ineffective marketing, inadequate tourism
infrastructure etc. In this paper an effort has been made to highlight the
present scenario of Tourism in India and hurdles that comes in the way for the
development of Sustainable Tourism and its related infrastructure. It further
highlights the initiatives taken by the Government itself, for attracting foreign
incentives and to encourage private sector as well to act as a facilitator by
providing supportive infrastructure facilities.
Tourism in today’s world is no more a luxury or sightseeing. It is motivated by
the natural urge for new experience, adventure, education and entertainment
regarding different cultures, life styles and environments. This natural urge is
enhanced with recent advances in transportation and information technology in
the 21st century and has made tourism industry to undergo a significant change.
Now even a common man has attained the status of a tourist and enabled to
reach even the remotest parts of the earth. Tourism Industry has given birth to a
number of secondary and tertiary activities, provided new career opportunities in
hospitality, leisure and surface transport, gainfully employing thousands of people
and fetching several crores of rupees in foreign exchange year after year.
The earnings from tourism have made it one of the world’s largest industries
and the fastest growing sectors of global trade. According to the World Tourism
Organization (WTO), the year 2006 saw more than 842 million international
tourist arrivals and the tourism receipts were around US $ 682 billion. The World
Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) latest figures for 2006 indicated that travel
and tourism had generated 234 million direct and indirect jobs worldwide, i.e.
8.7% of the global employment. This accounts for 10.7% of the global Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), 12.8% of global exports, and 9.4% of global capital
investment. According to the same estimate, the global travel and tourism activity
is expected to increase by 4.7% between 2007 and 2016. By 2016, it is projected
that total travel & tourism activity is expected to post a demand of economic
activity of US $12118 billion and 9% of the total employment.
The WTO forecast indicates an increasing tourism preference towards East Asia,
the Pacific, West Asia and South Asia, although Europe and America still remain
the world’s foremost tourism destinations commanding 77% of the global market.
East Asia/Pacific achieved the highest rate of growth of 15% in tourism and travel
in 21st century followed by West Asia and South Asia. In Asia, China has emerged
as a leading tourist destination and is poised to become the world’s top tourist
destination by 2020.The WTTC has identified India as one of the world’s foremost
tourist growth centres in the coming decade with 65.8% of regional Tourism
receipts. India is expected to achieve the fastest rate of growth of economic
activity which is likely to be generated by travel and tourism, at 9.7 per cent over
the next 10 years.
Also, the largest employment creation after China is expected
to take place in India over the same period. The growth in ‘visitor exports’ and
spending by international tourists, is likely to be the fastest in India at 14.3 per
cent per annum over the next decade. It is estimated that tourism in India could
contribute Rs. 8,50,000 crores to the GDP by 2020 ( approx. 1800 million USD)
Presently, India has 0.8% share of world tourist market. In 2006, country
witnessed 4.51 millions as International Tourists and 367 millions as domestic
Tourists, thus contributing around 10.7 million direct and 24.4 million indirect
employments. All this had a 5.3% overall contribution of GDP out of which 2 %
is the direct contribution of Tourism. On the whole, the WTTC forecast for India
is promising, subject to key policy issues that affect the growth of the sector being
Table 1: Contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP and Employment
Contribution World Average (%) India (%) World Rank
Contribution of Tourism and
Travel Economy to GDP 10.7 5.3 140
Contribution of Tourism and
Travel Industry to GDP 4.2 2.5 124
Contribution of Travel and
Tourism Economy Employment 8.7 5.6 140
Contribution of Travel and
Tourism Industry Employment 3.1 2.9 111
Contribution of Tourism and
Travel exports to total exports 12.8 9.5 31
Contribution of Tourism and
Travel to tourism receipts 5.2 11.8 29
Source : WTTC, Department of Tourism, Government of India (2006).
Nature of Indian Tourism
According to predictions made by industry stakeholders, the tourism sector in
Asia over the next 10 years is projected to grow at a higher rate than most other
regions and the world average as a whole. It is felt that India should capitalize
on this great window of opportunity by evolving a tourist friendly tax regime in
the region. The events around the globe and in the subcontinent have had their
impact on the flow of overseas visitors to India. But, in the last 15 years, visits
by the domestic tourists have grown by more than 300 million. From a figure
of 63 million in 1990 it stood at 382 million in the year 2005. This phenomenal
explosion of domestic tourism is an inevitable by-product of the prosperity that
India has achieved. Domestic tourism in India is also fuelled by a number of
factors like important pilgrim sites of different religions are scattered throughout
India’s cultural heritage and eco-tourism potential are the major consumer
preferences of the international tourists. A striking feature of Indian tourism
is the average length of stay of foreign tourists in the country. The estimated
average length of stay for tourists is 31 days, which is amazing when compared
to international average. The long length of stay indicated the character of the
average foreign visitor as serious minded and exploratory; justifying the fact that
India has a vast variety to offer to the tourists.
Another important feature of the Indian tourism industry is its contribution to
national integration, preservation of natural as well as cultural environments and
enrichment of the social and cultural lives of people. Domestic tourists visiting
different parts of the country every year return with a better understanding of
the people living in different regions of the country. Tourism also encourages
preservation of monuments and heritage properties and helps the survival of arts
forms, crafts and culture since historical monuments are a big source of attraction
to tourists visiting India. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) manages over
3500 monuments in India.
There is a demand that Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
and Indian tourist packages should be integrated so that tourists coming from
Europe should go over to ASEAN destinations after covering Indian tourist
attractions. Similarly, international tourists visiting ASEAN countries can come
over to Indian destinations. In a survey conducted by travel and leisure magazine,
two Indian hotels at Jaipur and Agra find a place in world’s 100 best hotels.
The Ananda resort in the Himalayas has been rated as the world’s number one
spa by the popular travel and tourism magazine “Conde Nast Traveller”. The
New Delhi-Agra-Jaipur golden triangle is still a hot favourite for international
Hurdles to Growth of Tourism in India
Tourism is one economic sector in India that has the potential to grow at a high
rate and can ensure consequential development of the infrastructure of the
destinations. It has the capacity to capitalize on the country’s success in the
services sector and provide sustainable models of growth. But the major constraint
in the expansion of international tourist traffic to India is poor visitor experience,
particularly, due to inadequate infrastructural facilities, including inadequate
air seat capacity, inaccessibility to tourist destinations, poor accommodation
and lack of trained manpower in sufficient number, unhygienic conditions
and incidents of touting and harassment of tourists in some places. Other
inadequacies that act as hurdle in the growth of tourism directly or indirectly are
- Levy of tax on tourism and tourists that are not only high but also
- Excessive clearances to be obtained from numerous agencies of the
Central and State Governments for tourist related infrastructure.
- Difficulties in obtaining land for hotel projects.
- Restrictions on movement of tourists and tourist vehicles.
- Lack of adequate security to foreign tourists to go around without fear of
bodily harm or loss of belongings.
- Inadequate human resource development leading to the visitor being
treated more as an intruder than as an honored guest.
Initiatives by the Government
Tourism development in India has passed through many phases. At government
level the development of tourist facilities was taken up in a planned manner in
1956 coinciding with the Second Five Year Plan (1956-61). The Sixth Plan (1980-
85) marked the beginning of a new era when tourism began to be considered a
major instrument for social integration and economic development. But it was
only after the 80’s that tourism activity gained momentum when government took
several significant steps. The potential of tourism in a globalize environment was
brought out in 1982 for the first time in the Tourism Policy of India that perceived
the role of this sector as a major engine of growth and sought to integrate it with
all other sectors that are related to it in a major way through a well defined and
fully integrated national programme. Later in 1988, the National Committee on
Tourism formulated a comprehensive plan for achieving a sustainable growth in
The government of India has initiated a national action plan in 1992 for
tourism to improve the tourist flow by providing proper infrastructure at the
tourist sites. In 1996 the National Strategy for Promotion of Tourism was
drafted. In 1997, a new draft tourism policy in tune with the economic policies
of the Government and the trends in tourism development was published for
public debate. The draft policy is revised as National Tourism Policy 2002. The
Policy aims at taking advantage of the tourism potential of all sectors, starting
with spatial physical diversity of mountainous ranges to desert stretches in
different regions in the country, the man-made attractions of historical interest,
heritage buildings to crafts and culture of the people as tourism products. In
this context, it also seeks to use the tourism route to create as much skilled and
unskilled employment as possible. The policy recognizes the roles of Central
and State governments, public sector undertakings and the private sector in the
development of tourism. The need for involvement of Panchayati Raj institutions,
local bodies, non-governmental organizations and the local youth in the creation
of tourism facilities has also been recognized.
The National Tourism Policy attempts to:-
- Position tourism as a major engine of economic growth;
- Harness the direct and multiplier effects of tourism for employment
generation, economic development and providing impetus to rural
- Focus on domestic tourism as a major driver of tourism growth.
- Position India as a global brand to take advantage of the increasing
global travel trade and the vast untapped potential of India as a
- Acknowledges the critical role of private sector with government
working as a pro-active facilitator and catalyst;
- Create and develop integrated tourism circuits based on India’s unique
civilization, heritage, and culture in partnership with States, private
sector and other agencies; and
- Ensure that the tourist to India gets physically invigorated, mentally
rejuvenated, culturally enriched, spiritually elevated and “feel India
Also, the overall fund allotment for the Tourism Industry in the 10th Five
year plan was Rs.2900 crores as against Rs.750.00 crores in the 9th Five year
plan period. According to the working group report for 11th five-year plan; the
proposal is to spend Rs. 9290 crores to boost the growth in this sector.
The important initiatives taken by the government to improve the flow of
foreign tourists and thereby increasing the country’s share in the world tourism
included the following:
- Direct approach to consumers through Electronic and Print media
through the “Incredible India” Campaign.
- Centralized Electronic Media Campaign.
- Direct co-operative marketing with tour operators and wholesale
- Greater focus in the emerging markets particularly in the region of
China, North East Asia and South East Asia.
- Participation in Trade fairs and exhibitions.
- Optimizing Editorial PR and Publicity.
- Use of Internet and Web Marketing.
- General Tourist Publications.
- Re-enforcing hospitality programmes including grant of air passages
to invite media personnel and tour operators on familiarization tours to
India to get firsthand knowledge on various tourist potentials.
- Focusing on growth of hotel infrastructure particularly budget hotels.
- Enhancing connectivity through augmentation of air capacity and
improving road infrastructure in major tourist attractions.
The other major development that took place was the setting up of the
India Tourism Development Corporation in 1966 to promote India as a tourist
destination. Tourism Finance Corporation was also established in 1989 to
finance tourism projects. Altogether, 24 Government-run Hotel Management and
Catering Technology Institutes and 12 Food Craft Institutes are there for imparting
The organizations involved in the development of tourism in India are the
Ministry of Tourism with its 21 field offices within the country and 18 abroad,
Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, National Council for Hotel
Management and Catering Technology, India Tourism Development Corporation,
Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering and the National Institute of Water
Sports. The Department of Tourism has a scheme of approving Travel Agents,
Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators.
The Department of Tourism approves hotel projects from the point of view
of their suitability for international tourists. Various incentives and benefits are
linked to such approvals. The Hotel and Restaurant Approval and Classification
Committee (HRACC), with representatives from Department of Tourism,
Government of India, State Governments and hotel and travel industry associations,
set up by the Department of Tourism; classify the functioning hotels under the star
system into six categories from one to 5-Star Deluxe. A new category of Heritage
Hotels has also been introduced since 1994. The Department also re-classifies
these hotels after every four years to ensure that these hotels maintain the requisite
Till the end of March 2006, there were 1934 hotels with 103973 rooms on
the approval list of the Department of Tourism. The break-up of these hotels by
different star categories is as given in Table 2.
Table 2: Different Categories of hotels as per Department of Tourism
Star Category No. of Hotels No. of Rooms
5-Star Deluxe 82 18764
5-Star 92 11332
4-Star 132 9404
3-Star 704 31039
2-Star 587 19031
1-Star 212 6950
Heritage 83 2216
To be classified 50 5127
Total 1934 103973
Source: Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (2006).
The table excludes hotels in the unorganized sector that have a significant
presence across the country and cater primarily to economy tourists.
Incentives for the Private Sector
In order to achieve sustained growth of tourist facilities in the private sector and
to ensure high standards of quality in their services, several incentives are given
to private sector by the Central as well as State Governments.
Few of them that need mentioning are as follows:
- Interest subsidy of 3% on loan taken from financial institution is available
to 1 to 3 star categories of hotel projects outside the metropolitan cities
of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai.
- A subsidy of 5% is available to hotel projects if they are located in the
Travel Circuits and Destinations identified for intensive development as
per National Action Plan for Tourism.
- Heritage hotel projects are given higher rate of interest subsidy of
5%. Recently, financial institutions such as ICICI, IDBI and SIDBI
have also been included in the scheme in addition to Tourism Finance
Corporation of India (TFCI), Industrial Finance Corporation of India
(IFCI) and State Finance and Industrial Corporation.
- As a fiscal incentive, 40% of profits derived by hotels, travel agents
and tour operators in foreign exchange are exempted from income tax.
The balance amount of profits in foreign exchange is also exempted
provided it is reinvested in tourism projects.
To sum up, Indian tourism has vast potential for generating employment and
earning large sums of foreign exchange besides giving a fillip to the country’s
overall economic and social development. Much can be achieved by way of
increasing air seat capacity, increasing trains and railway connectivity to important
tourist destinations, four-laning of roads connecting important tourist centers and
increasing availability of accommodation by adding heritage hotels to the hotel
industry and encouraging paying guest accommodation. But much more remains
to be done. Since tourism is a multi-dimensional activity, and basically a service
industry, it would be necessary that all wings of the Central and State governments,
private sector and voluntary organizations become active partners in the endeavor
to attain sustainable growth in tourism if India is to become a world player in the
tourist industry. Following are the few measures that can be used for enhancing
India’s Competitiveness as a Tourist Destination.
The need for physical infrastructure is there right from entry into the country
to modes of transport to destinations (airways, roadways, railways or waterways),
to urban infrastructure such as access roads, power, water supply, sewerage and
telecommunications. This underscores the need for inter-sectoral infrastructural
schemes and programmes that could support tourist destinations.
In order to enhance India’s competitiveness as a tourist destination, there is
a need to simplify the visa procedure and consider strategies for the speedy issue
of visas including electronic visas and visas on arrival. As air capacity available
to India is woefully short during the peak travel months, ranging from October
to March, there is an urgent need to open India’s skies to increase air capacity to
help enhance tourism. Additional seat capacity from the major tourism generating
destinations can significantly benefit the national economy and can act as booster
to tourism. In order to improve the standard of facilities and services at the
international and national airport, more professional management agencies can be
The plan for the road system in the country covering both inter-state highways
and improvements to rural roads directly supports tourism development since
80% of passengers in India travel by road. There is an urgent need to construct
and improve highways linking the 22 world heritage sites and places of tourist
significance. For this, coordination between Ministry of Road Transport and
National Highways is required.
Indian Railways is an enormous asset to the development of the tourism and
hospitality industry in the country. The railways hold a special fascination for
foreign tourists who wish to travel India. For the vast majority of domestic tourists
also, rail is the most affordable means of travel linking the length and breadth of
the country. Introduction of special tourist trains with pre-set routes and private
sector participation need to be encouraged.
Following are some of the areas that also need special attention:
- India has a vast array of protected monuments with 22 world heritage
sites, 16 of which are monuments. The integrated development of areas
around these monuments provides an opportunity for the development
of culture tourism in India. Cultural and heritage tourism need to be
- For the development of beach and coastal tourism, a number of sites
on the west coast of India need to be identified for the development as
- India’s great wildlife variety has not yet been developed as a tourist
attraction. Wildlife sanctuaries and national parks should become an
integral part of the Indian tourism product with best tourist facilities.
- Many India’s fairs and festivals such as the Pushkar mela, the Desert
Festival at Jaisalmer, the Kumbh Mela etc. are already well established
and popular among domestic as well as foreign tourists, can be promoted
as unique products of India.
- Shopping for traditional crafts especially in these fairs and festivals
need to be recognized as an integral part of tourism. The development
of various shopping centers along the lines of village haats such as Dilli
Haat and Shilpgram can be developed.
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