Domestic tourists driving growth in Indian travel and tourism sector

Devdiscourse News Desk | Jaipur (Rajasthan) | Updated: 29-04-2019 17:22 IST | Created: 29-04-2019 16:28 IST
Domestic tourists driving growth in Indian travel and tourism sector
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The Indian tourism sector is likely to grow at 6.7 per cent per annum to reach INR 35 trillion with 9.6 per cent of GDP, by 2029,  said new FICCI-Yes Bank report on Monday. The report titled 'India Inbound Tourism: Unlocking the Opportunities' also suggested 14 points to make India a Tourism Superpower.

According to the report, the tourism sector generated 247.3 billion dollars (about Rs 16.9 lakh crore) in 2018, marking a growth of 6.7 per cent and contributing 9.2 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP). At present, India is the 8th largest country in terms of contribution to travel and tourism GDP and the largest market in South Asia.

The sector generated 2.67 crore jobs in 2018. By 2029, it is expected to provide employment to nearly 5.3 crore million people directly and indirectly. Foreign tourist arrivals crossed one crore in 2017 and the growth trend is expected to continue. Consumption by domestic tourists remains a key strength of the sector in India, much stronger than the global average, the report said.

Growing disposable income, increase in new millennial tourists, new travel destinations, as well as new themes of tourism, will further propel the growth. The report said systematic growth, maintenance and sustainable development of tourism destinations and focus on promoting emerging avenues of tourism will be essential towards unlocking its true potential.

The growth in the Indian travel and tourism sector has largely been driven by domestic tourists. Foreign tourists still account for a limited share as compared to some of the top-ranking countries. The government intends to achieve the ambitious target of one per cent foreign tourist arrivals in the world's international tourist arrivals by 2020 and increase it to two per cent by 2025.

Traditional and emerging themes of tourism including nature, heritage and cultural, religious, adventure, medical and wellness, MICE and wedding have been a key attraction for domestic and foreign tourists. "Strong domestic demand, economic growth, price competitive offerings, infrastructure development and the emergence of new destinations besides niche tourism products will continue to drive the growth of the industry in future," said the report.

The Central government has undertaken several initiatives like the rapid implementation of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) schemes, e-visa for citizens from 166 countries and adventure tourism guidelines. Promotional activities such as Incredible India 2.0 campaign and India Tourism Mart 2018 have also benefited the sector immensely. There is a need for the government and private sector to collaborate towards thematic development of destinations, said the report. 

(With inputs from agencies.)

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