The Indian tourism and hospitality industry has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. Tourism in India has significant potential considering the rich cultural and historical heritage. Variety in ecology, terrains, and places of natural beauty are spread across the country. Tourism is also a potentially large employment generator besides being a significant source of foreign exchange for the country. During 2018, FEEs from tourism increased by 4.70 percent* year-on-year to US$ 28.59 billion. FEEs during January 2019 was US$ 2.55 billion.
Indian Tourism Market Size
India is the most digitally-advanced traveler nation in terms of digital tools being used for planning, booking and experiencing a journey. India’s rising middle class and increasing disposable incomes have continued to support the growth of domestic and outbound tourism.
During 2018, foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India stood at 10.56 million, achieving a growth rate of 5.20 percent year-on-year. FTAs in January 2019 stood at 1.10 million, up 5.30 percent compared to 1.05 million year-on-year. The travel & tourism sector in India accounted for 8 percent of the total employment opportunities generated in the country in 2017. Thus, providing employment to around 41.6 million people during the same year. The number is expected to rise by 2 percent annum to 52.3 million jobs by 2028.
International hotel chains are increasing their presence in the country, as it will account for around 47 percent share in the Tourism & Hospitality sector of India by 2020 & 50 percent by 2022.
During the period April 2000-December 2018, the hotel and tourism sector attracted around US$ 12 billion of FDI. According to the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Indian Tourism Government Initiatives
The Indian government has realised the country’s potential in the tourism industry and has taken several steps to make India a global tourism hub.
Some of the major initiatives planned by the Government of India to give a boost to the tourism and hospitality sector of India are as follows:
- Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as ‘State of Unity’, was inaugurated in October 2018. It is the highest standing statue in the world at a height of 182 meters. It is expected to boost the tourism sector in the country and put India on the world tourism map.
- The Government of India is working to achieve 1 percent share in the world’s international tourist arrivals by 2020 and 2 percent share by 2025.
- Under Budget 2019-20, the government allotted Rs 1,160 crore for development of tourist circuits under Swadesh Darshan.
- Under Budget 2019-20, the government allotted Rs 160.50 crore for development of tourist circuits under Swadesh Darshan.
Following are the achievements of the government during 2017-18:
- During 2018-19, a total of seven projects worth Rs 384.67 crore (US$ 54.81 million) were sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
- As of July 2018, 14 states had deployed tourist police. In November 2018, Nagaland also deployed separate tourist police in the state.
India’s travel and tourism industry have huge growth potential. The tourism industry is also looking forward to the expansion of the E-visa scheme which is expected to double the tourist inflow to India. India’s travel and tourism industry have the potential to expand by 2.5 percent on the back of higher budgetary allocation. And low-cost healthcare facility, according to a joint study conducted by Assocham and Yes Bank.
Note: *in US$ terms