The driving factors of travel and tourism in India
India is one of the most geographically diversified nations with 30+ attractive beaches spread across 7000 km of coastline, 30 world heritage sites, offers both hot & cold deserts, having more than 100+ national park nurturing across forest which covers the significant total land area. India is also known for its mountainous terrain which covers 70% of Himalaya, Satpura & Vindhya ranges, Aravalli ranges and so on.
Currently, India is a home for more than 10.04 Mn foreign tourists with major inflow during the month of February. Only Bangladesh contributes more than 2.16 Mn tourists every year followed by the United State and the United Kingdom. Though India is at its nascent stage of tourism, travel, and tourism have emerged as one of the major growth engines and expected to contribute more than 4% in overall GDP. Travel and tourism are supposed to be facilitated 52.3 Mn jobs by 2028 as compared 41 Mn Jobs as of now.
To cater to such a huge tourism industry, service providers are broadly classified into the Public sector or Trade association and private players like travel agencies, hotel and exhibition centers, online travel aggregators, etc. They provide various types of services to Domestic/Inbound/Outbound markets such as Ticket Reservation, Hotel Booking, Holiday/Tour Packages, Travel Insurance, Foreign Exchange, Conference/ Trade Fair Service/MICE MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) destination, Visa Services for Business, Leisure & Recreation, Education, Medical and Social Activities.
At the same time, drivers which are accelerating the pace of tourism growth are as follows.
- Weather & Climate Resources: - Due to vast size, India is being blessed with huge biodiversities. Geographical diversities such as tapering of peninsular India towards the south, the protection offered by Himalaya ranges and a latitudinal extension towards tropic of cancer. These attributes make India naturally blessed to offer the adventure tourism
- Landscape resources:- India has immense resources including rocky peaks for climbing, cliffs or scarp for hand gliding, steep snowy slopes for skiing, caves for exploiting them for sightseeing and rock formation at Deccan plateau or Ladakh offer invaluable trekking experience. Rural tourism adds more flavor to tourism experience by offering sensational water points such as riversides, gorges, waterfalls, springs, etc. These resources enable Sunbathing and adventurous raffling and rowing which attracts tourists widely.
- Seascape tourist resources: Since waves and tidal currents are not dangerous across 7000 km coastal line, it offers safe sunbathes, swimming, boating, and surfing. Another major source of attraction includes groups of island Andaman & Nicobar Islands in Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea. There are plenty of islands that are yet to discover wholly which also makes this place exclusive.
- Historical & Cultural resources: - India is one of the most ancient civilizations. Due to the same, India has a rich historical and cultural heritage which tenders amazing architectural designs and structural beauty such as statues, shrines, tombs, minarets, forts, palaces and ancient monuments.
- India has such favorable tourism condition, it's overall ranking in tourism lies 65 with regulatory framework ranking lies at 62nd position and Business environment & infrastructure ranking stands at 55. In fact, the US has issued “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” as per their tourism advisory. There could be multiple decisive factors and trends such as flexibility of booking holidays, growth of the regional airport, length of stay, political aspects and technological changes. However, India is facing structural challenges that are disrupting the travel and tourism growth of India. These challenges range from a lack of proper infrastructure in transportation facilities health facilities to the requirement of highly skilled human resources. Currently, travel and tourism have been imposed with high taxes which adversely impact tourism growth. At the same time, security has emerged as one of the most voiced concerns in recent years. Security issues such as sexual abuse, theft, credit card frauds, identity theft, food poisoning, terrorism, and public violence have drastically pull down India’s chances of being the most preferred tourist spot globally.
- Indian government has realized the potential growth and making every possible attempt to seize it by taking initiative such as budget allotment of USD $ 160.78 for development of tourist circuits and “Swadesh Darshan” and development of Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as ‘Statue of Unity’ which is the highest standing statue in the world at a height of 182 meter. In order to achieve the ambitious target of a 1 percent share in the world’s international tourist arrivals by 2020 and 2 percent share by 2025, the Indian government has extended e- visa facility to citizens of 167 countries. Launch of 24x7 toll-free tourist helpline in multiple languages including English and Hindi is also one of the positive steps toward making India world leader in tourism.
Along with these Government initiatives, there is the scope of controlling the crime rates, develop the heritage site and promote northeastern India which offers amazing bio diversified experience. Publishing state wise/region wise guidelines on the dedicated portal for foreign tourists. Having said that, there is an equally important role needed to be played by us along with the government to make India travel and tourism heaven.