By 2020, Tourism in India could contribute Rs 8,50,000 crores to the GDP

In other words, every man, woman and child could become richer by Rs 7,000. India has yet to realise its full potential from tourism. The Travel and Tourism industry holds tremendous potential for India’s economy. It can provide impetus to other industries, create millions of new jobs and generate enough wealth to help pay off the international debt. That is why we have included Tourism amongst the Core Sectors of the Indian Economy.

Incredible India !!

India is probably the only country that offers various categories of tourism. These include history tourism, adventure tourism, medical tourism (ayurveda and other forms of Indian medications), spiritual tourism, beach tourism (India has the longest coastline in the East) etc.

Explore India – choose the locales of your choice, and see what each state has to offer. Lose yourself in the wonder that is India. Meander through lands steeped in chivalry and pageantry that begin before recorded history. Explore modern cities that have grown organically from the roots of a multi-hued past. Make a pilgrimage to holy shrines that echo with tales of antiquity. Frolic on a vast array of golden beaches that dot an enviable coastline, washed by two seas and an ocean. Sport with adventure in style. Let the jungle lure you to a fascinating world at a diverse array of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks……. this is the wonder that is India.

India on the World Map

The Indian tourism industry has not had it so good since the early 1990s. With global recession seeming to have waned decisively, Indian economy growing at around 7% per annum and rise in disposable incomes of Indians, an increasing number of people are going on holiday trips within the country and abroad resulting in the tourism industry growing wings.

It is fast turning into a volume game where an ever-burgeoning number of participants are pushing up revenues of industry players (hotels, tour operators, airlines, shipping lines, etc). Thus, the tourism sector is expected to perform very well in future and the industry offers an interesting investment opportunity for long-term investors.

Despite the numerous problems, tourism industry was the second-largest foreign exchange earner for the country during the year ended March 2003. During 2002, 2.2 million foreigners visited India. Foreign tourist in-flow has risen 20% this year.

India : An Idea who’s time has come

Conde Nast ranked her amongst the top 10 tourist destinations. JBIC ranked her as the fifth most attractive investment destination. The World Social Forum, AdAsia, World Bamboo Congress, Commonwealth Games, Laureus World Sports Academy Global Submit, F1 alongwith some of the biggest expos and conferences of the world chose her to play host.

Presenting India to you Readers. The subcontinent to whose splendor, diversity and world-class facilities the world has finally woken up to. Away from threats, untouched by SARS and politically stable India is the flavor of the season. Take a fresh look at her flourishing economy (double digit growth in third quarter of 2003- 2004), geographically strategic location, faith fortified by major software firms to make it a global backup hub for software, the staggering figure of over 366 national/international level expos and about 100 congress already scheduled for leap year 2004 (of which over 50 in January alone), her forex reserves, her rising Sensex, rapidly growing consumer markets, presence of world’s finest and choicest brands and the exceptional growth in interest from FIIs, to understand why India offers a feel good factor. Truly, India is one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world.

The Scene Till Now

Some major international events like 9/11, US-led war against terror and SARS hit the tourism industry over the past few years. The adverse travel advisories by many countries to their citizens and riots in Gujarat too contributed to a significant slowdown in tourism in India.

There were other negatives too. Consider this- Expenses per night of stay for a tourist in India during the SE Asian currency crisis was $100 whereas it was around $35-40 in the SE Asian countries. This hurt Indian tourism. Though this discrepancy has come down, still there is some gap. Some of the reasons for this are high luxury and entertainment taxes and high landing charges applicable in Indian airports.

Costs are also high because tourism is a state subject. Each state separately spends on tourism and tourism related activities, whereas if these funds were spent in a cohesive manner by a nodal agency to showcase the entire country as one destination, the results would probably have been far more spectacular. Currently, the centre is only allocating finances for tourism projects. But the government is trying to convince states on the benefits of bringing tourism under the aegis of the Central government on to the concurrent subject on to the concurrent list.