Tourism is contributing over 6.8% to India’s GDP-Discuss the ways in which Tourism Industry be made more competitive and attractive.

Topic- General Studies Paper-3; Indian Economy and Issues

Our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had once stated: “Tourism is a major engine of economic growth in most parts of the world… Tourism has great capacity to create large-scale employment of diverse kind from the most specialised to the unskilled… and all of us know the generation of massive productive employment opportunities is what India needs the most.”

  • India needs to reach the target of 20 million Inbound Tourists by 2020. We have already hit 10 million mark.
  • The Tourism Sector employs 84 million people and is contributing over 6.8% to India’s GDP.
  • Tourism in India is being hampered by Cleanliness Issue. Cleanliness Drive should be on the top of the list otherwise Tourism just won’t work.
  • We have an incredible opportunity for Adventure Tourism since 70% Himalayas are in India. Guidelines for Adventure Tourism have also been put in place but Enforcement depends upon State.
  • The idea of  ‘Adopt a Heritage’ is very important since our monuments need to be better maintained if we want to attract Tourists.
  • The Tourism Ministry is going to focus on getting Tourists from China and also on Cruise Tourism. In that context, they had sought a 5-year Tax Holiday for the nascent Cruise Tourism Industry
  • We should appreciate the present Government’s effort to push Tourism from Prasad to Swadesh Darshan Scheme from Udaan to E-Visa.
  • ‘Kerala Travel Mart’ is what it is today due to complete dedication from both the public and private sector. The International Standard Mart finally became a reality with the ’ India Travel Mart 2018’. We can achieve major milestones if the PPP Model is looked at with utmost seriousness.
  • According to Experts to get good numbers in Tourism Industry one has to focus on Big Ticket Events and especially on the “MICE”segment   
  • India needs Convention Centres and facilities to support the incoming MICE business. We need functional Convention Centres which should be built away from the city to avoid any kind of Infrastructure issues
  • Government’s Udaan Policy – India is extremely attractive for the Inbound Business
  • We have to focus on improving  Key Performance Indicators . Ours is a fantastic Tourism Economy and it is important to see how to change these KPI’s. Countries today are moving away from numbers. It is about bringing in the Quality Tourists who will spend and benefit the Economy in general.
  • 2 things have certainly made an impact: 1) E-Visa Development and 2) Incredible India 2.0 campaign – It is world class and has been implemented with a futuristic approach
  • India is a complex destination and cannot be sold like countries such as Singapore or a straight forward destination. One has to tailor make the promotions and the products. Consumer Targeting is important to look at, as India has a Tourism product that fits all.
  • Sustainable tourism development for inclusive growth in India needs to be founded on the objective of ‘Tourism for All’
    1) By evolving a system for people’s participation in tourism development, promoting pro-poor tourism and laying focus on sustainable local action adapted to local needs and resources
    2) By spreading tourism widely to different unexplored regions and diversifying the range of tourism products.

  • Tourism has the biggest multiplier effect as it not only creates jobs in the tertiary sector, it also encourages growth in the primary and secondary sectors of industry. 
  • We need to make the Industry Competitive by lowering Tax rates.
  • We also need to bring the Tourism Industry and the Hotel Industry within the ambit of Infrastructure Status.
  • We have to think more aggressively and attack the market.

The Futuristic Tourism Policy of India must therefore identify the components where India has not found itself competitive and formulate a roadmap and action plan to make a breakthrough in these pillars. Similarly, the components where India has a distinct edge over other countries need to be strengthened to augment and sustain India’s competitive advantage.

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