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Tourism in India – III

22/05/2021 at 7:24 AM

Both increased domestic tourism and foreign tour by the Indians were led by a combination of several factors, which, inter alia, included increased income, facilities extended by employers in the form of Leave Travel Concessions, improved connectivity via air and train, ease of on-line travel booking, ‘holidaying’ emerging as a culture, aggressive marketing efforts by tour operators and other service providers resulting in competitive pricing, business travels principally emanating from the soaring services sector, and foreign visits gradually becoming a ‘show-off’ factor.

Dr Manas R  Das

Domestic Tourism

In addition to foreign tourism, domestic tourism is important, especially in a large country like India. Over time, domestic tourism has gained strength, as illustrated by Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) during 2015-19 (Chart 1).



(Arrow indicates linear growth trend. Based on India Tourism Statistics 2020. R – Revised. P – Provisional.)

During 2015-19, DTVs increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.8%. DTVs had crossed the one-billion mark in 2012. TheYear-on-Year (YoY)growth rate,after an initial plunge, spurted in 2018 and further in 2019 by a whopping 25.3%.

State-wise distribution of DTVs (Chart 2) was skewed with (a) Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and AndhraPradesh together accounting fornearly 55%, (b) Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, MadhyaPradesh and Telangana accounting for nearly 28% and (c) Gujarat and Rajasthanaccounting for a paltry 4.7%. The remaining 13.0% was shared bythe rest of the States/UTs.

(Based on India Tourism Statistics 2020.)

Indian Tourists’ Visits Abroad

Indian Nationals’ Departures (IND) from India have also shown an upward trend during 2015-19 (CAGR:7.2%)(Chart 3). However, the YoY growth rate was, by and large, marked by a declining trend. During 2019, the YoY growth was marginal at 2.4% compared to nearly 10% YoY growth in the previous year.

(Arrow indicates lineargrowth trend. Based on India Tourism Statistics 2020.)

Both increased domestic tourism and foreign tour by the Indians were led by a combination of several factors, which, inter alia, included increased income, facilities extended by employers in the form of Leave Travel Concessions, improved connectivity via air and train, ease of on-line travel booking, ‘holidaying’ emerging as a culture, aggressive marketing efforts by tour operators and other service providers resulting in competitive pricing, business travels principally emanating from the soaring services sector, and foreign visits gradually becoming a ‘show-off’ factor.

Government Schemes

Table 1 summarizes some of the salient the government schemes implemented by the Ministry of Tourism for promoting tourism and related infrastructure.

Table 1: Government Schemes at a Glance

SchemeObjective
Swadesh DarshanTo develop theme-based tourist circuits on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner by synergizing efforts to focus on needs and concerns of all stakeholders. Fifteen thematic circuits have been identified for development.
Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD)To develop tourism infrastructure including historical places and heritage cities. Fifty-seven sites of religious significance have been identified for development.
Financial Assistance to Central AgenciesTo ensure development of tourism infrastructure by central agencies owning assets such as Archaeological Survey of India, Port Trust of India and India Tourism Development Corporation.
Niche Tourism  To mitigate the ‘seasonality’ in tourism and make India a 365-day destination, attract tourists with specific interests and ensure multiple visits for the unique products in which the country has comparative advantage. Includes Cruise, Adventure, Medical, Wellness, Golf, Polo, Meetings Incentives Conferences & Exhibitions, Eco-tourism, Film Tourism and Sustainable Tourism.
Dekho Apna Desh InitiativeLaunched in January 2020. Dekho Apna Desh is promoted extensively on social media accounts and website of the Tourism Ministry and by domestic India Tourism offices. Under this initiative, the Ministry has been organizing webinars, quizzes, discussions, etc., to keep connected with the stakeholders and to encourage citizens to travel within the country

Summarized from the Ministry of Tourism Annual Report, 2020-21.

Infrastructure development efforts include the following:

  • Hospitality Development and Promotion Board monitors and facilitates clearances/approvals of hotel projects, both at the central and State levels.
  • Skill Development Mission, under the PM’s Skill Development Mission, to raise a skilled work force of five million by 2022.
  • Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, set up in 1983, is a pioneer in the field of travel and tourism education and training. It provides specialized training and education for tourism and travel industry.
  • Scheme of approving travel agents, inbound/adventure/domestic/tour operators and tourist transport operators.
  • In order to build capacity for the emerging tourism and hospitality requirements, the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, 47 Institutes of Hotel Management (21 Central and 26 State) and 14 Food Craft Institutes have been set up as autonomous societies with central financial assistance from the Ministry of Tourism. Besides, there is an Indian Culinary Institute. The Ministry has also decided to bring hospitality education into the mainstream through government vocational schools, Industrial Training Institutes, polytechnic institutes, government colleges, universities and public sector undertakings.
  • In these efforts, special emphasis is accorded to tourism in the North-Eastern Region and Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Domestic tourism office network comprises five Regional Offices and 15 other offices. There are eight offices abroad.

(To be continued)

About the Author:

Dr. Manas R. Das is a former senior economist of State Bank of India. He has over 30 years of experience as an economist in two large commercial banks. Academically, he is a gold medalist in Bachelor of Arts with Economics Honours from Utkal University, followed by Master’s in Economics from Delhi School of Economics and Doctorate in Economics from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. He is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. He has won several awards, besides being a prolific writer.

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