Tourism in India - An Overview

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By Samir Sinha

The author is Deputy Director (Media & Communication), PIB, New Delhi

New Delhi, Sept 26, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) Tourism is recognized as a powerful engine for economic growth and employment generation.  The tourism sector is the largest service industry in the country, its importance lies in being an instrument for economic development and employment generation, particularly in the remote parts of the country.

The contribution of tourism in the country’s GDP and total jobs was 5.92% and 9.24% during 2007-08.  Total  number of jobs in tourism sector in the country during 2007-08 were 49.8 million. Challenges in terms of either increasing the current growth in the tourism sector or even sustaining it during the 12th Plan period include creation of additional tourism infrastructure facilities such as hotels, roads, transport vehicles, way side  amenities facilitation  centres, etc. The other challenges may be shortage of trained manpower, guides, better connectivity from important source markets for India as well as between important tourist places in India, vis-a-vis facilitation, etc.  To create awareness about the vast potential of tourism in economic development and employment generation, Ministry of Tourism made a presentation to the Prime Minister on 23rd June, 2011.  In this presentation, various initiatives required to be taken for development of tourism during the 12th Plan were also discussed.  The content of the presentation were also deliberated upon by various Sub-Groups of the Working Group on Tourism set up by the Planning Commission.  After detailed discussion Working Group has recommended the following strategies for development of tourism during the 12th Plan.

Various Targets for Tourism Sector

As Tourism Sector is one of the major component of the service sector in India, its  growth targets have to be linked with the targeted growth of service sector during the 12th  Five Year Plan.  For the projected growth of 9 to 9.5% of Indian economy during 12th Plan Period, tourism sector may have to match the projected growth of 12% Plan Period, tourism sector may have to match the projected  growth of 12% for the services sector as against the current growth of 9%.  To realize this growth target, tourism sector may have to achieve the following:-

·         Increase India’s share of International Tourist arrivals to at least 1% by end of XII Plan- requiring annual growth of 12.38% during 2011 and 2016.

·         Provide adequate facilities for domestic tourism to sustain the growth of 12.16% (witnessed in recent years) during 12th Plan (2011-16)

Implications of the targets:

Ø  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):

Number of FTAs and Foreign Tourist Visits (FTVs) in 2016 is estimated to be 11.24 million and 35.95 million respectively.

Ø  Domestic Tourism:

Number of Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) in 2016 is projected to be 1451.46 million.

Ø  Additional Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism:

The Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism is likely to increase from Rs. 64889 crore (US$ 14.19 Billion) in 2010 to Rs. 134383 crore (US $ 30.3 Billion) in 2016.  Additional FEE from Tourism during 2010-16 is estimated to be Rs. 69494 crore (US $ 15.7 Billion).

Employment Generation

Using the data on share of tourism in the total jobs in the country available from Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) for 2002-03 and estimated for years till 2007-08, the total number of jobs (direct and indirect) in the tourism sector in 2016 is likely to be 77.5 million as compared to 53 million in 2010.  Therefore, an additional employment of 24.5 million (direct and indirect) may be created during 2010 to 2016.

Initiatives to achieve the target

To achieve various targets and address the challenges involved in the tourism sector during 12th Five Year Plan, following initiatives are proposed to be undertaken:

Skill Development

Enhancing the institutional infrastructure of Hospitality Education by

·         Opening new Institutes of Hotel Management (IHM) and Food Crafts Institutes (FCI)

·         Augmenting the capacity of existing IHM/FCI

·         Facilitating private sector investments

Hospitality Education to be broad based to cover

·         Universities/Colleges

·         Polytechnics

·         Industrial Training Institutes

·         Vocational Education at  +2 level through CBSE and other State Level Boards

Skill development through “Hunar Se Rozgar” through

·         educational/training institutions mentioned above

·         Classified Star category hotels

·         Skills of existing  Service Providers to be certified through a stringent process to enhance their employability

·         New sectors to be identified.

·         E.g. Restoration workers of heritage bulking (Neemrana)

·         Convergence with Planning Commission, Ministries of HRD, Labour & Rural Develipment.

Infrastructure Development

·         Identify major Circuits/Destinations –having potential to attract large number of visitors – for development in Mission Mode

·         Develop Tourism Parks to be located in developed/underdeveloped/unexplored area of tourist interest

·         Identify clusters of villages having unique craft, ethnic art form for development as Tourism Products

·         Development of existing circuits/destinations to be continued under MoTs current scheme.

Hygiene and Sanitation

·         Sanitation, solid waste management and clean water major concerns for tourists

·         Sensitizing and awareness generation of  all stakeholders required

·         Ministry to undertake major social awareness campaign under ‘Atithi Devo Bhav’ initiative

Marketing, Branding & Promotion

·         Developing new markets – CIS, ASEAN, Middle East and African countries

·         Opening new representative offices overseas for wider reach

·         Developing and promoting new tourism products

·         Golf Polo, Wellness & Medical, MICE, Caravan, Cruise, Adventure and Wildlife tourism.

Taxation

Currently the taxes levied on tourism sector are very high.  To get the maximum dividends from tourism taxes levied on tourism industry should be unified, rationalised and made globally competitive.

Convergence

As tourism is a multi-sectoral activity, active convergence in the resources of various  sectors involved in promotion of tourism at Central and State level is necessary for achieving the optimum results.  For achieving the best results in Convergence, following measures will be required:-

-          A Committee may be constituted under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister with members from concerned Ministries such as Culture, Civil Aviation, Road Transport & Highways, Urban Development  etc.

-          A Committee may be constituted in each State/UTs  under the Chairmanship of  Chief Ministers/Administrator with members from concerned Ministries of the State Government/UT Administrations.

Involvement  of States/UTs in Tourism Development

·         Active involvement of States pre-requisite for integrated tourism development  through  convergence

·         M/oT in association with ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, PHDCCI, ICC to undertake efforts to increase States’ awareness of potential of tourism in economic development and employment generation.

·         States to identify infrastructure gaps for tourist destination and ensure intervention at CM level – making it a political  agenda

·         States should promote sustainable, safe and honorarium tourism.

Land for Tourism Sector

-          Land required for

o   Hotels

o   Convention/Exhibition Centres

o   Theme parks

o   Composite Heats

-          On the pattern of land allotted to industry

-          Land be given on Revenue Sharing basis

-          Higher FAR for hotels

To enable the MOT to implement various proposed strategies during 12th Plan period, its plan outlay would require substantial augmentation. The requirement of fund for the Ministry of Tourism during 12th Plan has been tentatively estimated to be about Rs. 21500 crore as against the allocation of Rs. 5156 crore during 11th Plan Substantial proportion  of the estimated outlay is proposed to be allocated  for improvement of tourism infrastructure, human resource development & capacity building and promotion & Publicity.

The priority of the Ministry of Tourism is to create/develop tourism related infrastructure for generation of employment opportunities so as to contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.  Efforts are also being made to include tourism in the curriculum for the 10+2 with the help of Ministry of Human Resources Development so that the Generation Next not only becomes aware of the issues but is also ready to take on the challenges in the tourism sector.


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