Bishnu Mohan, posted on on 1st Nov, 2017, 7 Views

Developing tourist attractions to the full potential? Will it boost Indian economy?

The dictionary meaning of tourism states that it is travel for leisure, recreational or business purposes in which profits are earned by providing services for the people or tourists who are travelling. Tourism has become the fourth largest industry that contributes to the global economy.

Answer ImageThis thriving economic sector has and will continue to contribute a large proportion to the National Income and generate huge employment opportunities. With further expansion, improvement and adequate diversification, it will become a valuable asset for economic growth in a developing country like India.

Initial Development of Tourism in India:-

During the pre-independence era of India, first organised works for the development of tourism in the country was initiated by a committee headed by the chairmanship of Sir John Sargent. He was the Educational Advisor to the Government of India, and it was the year 1945. Then the development was again fired up as a part of the Second Five Year Plan in the country in the year 1956.Answer ImageBut it was not until the sixth plan, that tourism was considered as a device to gain social integration and economic development. A National Policy on tourism was announced that gained momentum for the development of this sector in 1982. A comprehensive plan was formulated by the National Committee in 1988, to achieve sustainable growth in this industry.

A National Action Plan was prepared in 1992, and the National Strategy for Promotion of Tourism was drafted in 1996. The roles of Central and State governments, private and public sector undertakings in the development of tourism was recognised under the New Tourism Policy in 1997. There were also plans made to incorporate the help of Panchayat Raj Institutions, non- government organisations, local bodies and the local youth to make better facilities for tourism.

Tourism in Present day India:

It was calculated by the World Travel and Tourism Council that tourism in India profited ₹14.02 lakh crore or (US$ 220 billion) or 9.6% of Nation's GDP in 2016. It supported 9.3% of its total employment or 40.343 million jobs. The annual growth rate of this sector is predicted to be ₹28.49 lakh crore(US$ 440 billion) by 2024 or about 10% of GDP. The medical tourism sector of India was estimated to be worth US$ 3 billion in 2015 and expected to grow up to $7.8 billion by 2020.

Answer ImageThe arrival of foreign tourists in India has grown up to 10% from 2015 to 2016. Domestic tourism to all the states and Union territories has increased to 16.5% since 2011. The most visited Indian cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Agra, Jaipur and Kolkata. According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report 2017, out of 136 countries, India's tourism sector ranks 10th.

It mentions India's forthcoming regarding its good air transport, flexible infrastructure for ground transport, vast natural and cultural resources. However, it also mentioned India's shortcomings regarding hotel rooms per capita by international standards, comparatively low ATM penetration, sanitation etc. India's receipts from tourism during 2012 as per The World Tourism Organisation ranked 7th in Asia Pacific and 16th in the World.

Accolades for India's tourism sector:

For The World Economic Forum ranked India as the 14th best tourist destination in the world for its natural resources, a cultural legacy with many World Heritage Sites and creative industries. A leading brand consultancy, the Country Brand Index (CBI) survey conducted by Future Brand ranks India among the top five, for the best country brand for value-for-money due to its authenticity, art and culture. It also made it to the "rising stars" list or the countries that would become major tourist destinations in next five years.

Contributions of Government of India:

Several National policies for the promotion and development of tourism are designed by The Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry collaborates and consults with other stakeholders in the sector bloke various Central ministries/ agencies, Union Territories, state governments and the representatives of the private sector.

 It makes continuous efforts for the promotion of new forms of tourism such as cruise, rural, eco-tourism and medical. It also has formed the " Incredible India" campaign, "Hunar se rozgar" program and VISA on arrival to promote the tourism in India.

Limitations of Tourism Industry in India:

Some of the major drawbacks in the development of tourism in the country are- lack of accommodation and trained human resources in sufficient numbers, accessibility to tourist destinations, non- availability of adequate air seat capacity and infrastructure.

 Poor visitor experience is also another shameful reason that is regarding the growth of this sector. Poor hygiene conditions regular reports of harassment, touting and eve- teasing are some of the many factors that dissuade visitors from visiting again.

Impact of Tourism in India:

Tourism has become an instrument for employment generation, income, sustainable human development and poverty alleviation. It is an important source of foreign exchange earning in India and has a profitable impact on the payment balance of the country.

  • By declaring them as Heritage Sites, tourism helps in preserving places of historical importance like Taj Mahal and Qutab Minar. It has also helped in the conservation of natural habitats of many endangered species.
  • The development of multi-use infrastructures like transportation, sports centres, healthcare facilities, hotels and World class restaurants has also benefitted the host community. Apart from strengthening the economy it also promotes cross-cultural awareness.
  • It provides direct financial contributions, which can be collected from tourists or tour operators. This can be utilised for the preservation of Heritage sites and conservation of the ecosystem.
  • It also contributed to the Government revenues regarding income taxes, user fees, taxes on sales or rental of recreational equipment and license fees for activities like fishing and rafting. These funds can be used for giving salaries to the maintenance facilities and for the management of natural resources.
  • Due to the growth of tourism, the Indian Government is improving to manage the environmental assets more diligently. It also raises awareness for the protection and preservation of our natural resources.

Types of Tourism in India:

India offers lots of diversity that pertain to its mythology, ecology, geography and history. And the kind of Tourism in India can be classified as:-

  • Leisure Tourism: It means a relaxing holiday to visit places of interest, local attractions, Shopping etc.
  • Business Tourism: Traveling for trade, business transactions, attending an exhibition, conference or event associated with the business.
  • Ecological Tourism: For nature lovers, India provides a rich plethora of flora and fauna. Some of the popular places are Andaman and Nicobar islands, backwater of Kerala, Valley of flowers in Kashmir, beaches at Goa, Hill stations like Shimla and Ooty, wildlife sanctuaries like Kaziranga and Jim Corbett and much more.
  • Pilgrimage Tourism: India is known as "The land of God's and Goddesses" for its strong mythological background. So, thousands of tourists travel to holy places like Badrinath, Masjids at Delhi and Ajmer, Churches at Goa every year.
  • Medical Tourism: Due to adequate medical facilities and many low-cost people travel to India for a therapeutic purpose. It is an upcoming kind of Tourism in India.
  • Adventure Tourism: Adventure tourism includes mountaineering, trekking, hang gliding, paragliding, bungee jumping and white water river rafting. The Ministry of travel has identified a list of place in India for excitement and extreme adventures sports. Mostly in Gulmarg, Jammu & Kashmir, Rishikesh Uttarakhand, Goa and Maharashtra.
  • Film Tourism: In an endeavour to establish India as a filming destination, Ministry of Tourism will promote Cinema of India as a sub-brand of Incredible India. International Film Festivals like IFFI Goa, European Film Market, Cannes Film festival will be held in India in future.

Conclusion:

Tourism is a rapidly evolving industry that Chas huge potential to enhance the country's social vans economic development. With proper planning and involvement of judiciary system to decrease crime against visitors, the development of tourist attractions in India will boost its economy.

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