It mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 39th), particularly given the country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 43rd). Some other aspects of its tourism infrastructure remain somewhat underdeveloped however. The nation has very few hotel rooms per capita by international comparison and low ATM penetration. The Indian government has identified a shortage of 150,000 hotel rooms, with most of the undersupply in the budget sector. The Ministry of Tourism designs national policies for the development and promotion of tourism.
In the process, the Ministry consults and collaborates with other stakeholders in the sector including various Central Ministries/agencies, state governments, Union Territories and the representatives of the private sector. Concerted efforts are being made to promote new forms of tourism such as rural, cruise, medical and eco-tourism. The Ministry also maintains the Incredible India campaign. India’s rich history and its cultural and geographical diversity make its international tourism appeal large and diverse.
It presents heritage and cultural tourism along with medical, business and sports tourism. ABSTRACT Tourism today is the most vibrant tertiary activity and a multi-billion industry in India. Traditionally known largely for its historical and cultural dimensions, tourism today is highlighted for its immense business opportunities. With its lucrative linkages with transport, hotel industry etc. , the potential and performance of India’s tourism industry needs to be gauged in terms of its socio-economic magnitudes.
This paper traces the progress made by India’s tourism industry in the planning era, and the emerging issues (like alternative tourism) under globalization. It examines the problems and challenges of the country as well as the pitfalls in tourism planning in India. The paper also makes some policy suggestions to address the constraints in promoting sustainable tourism in India. The Indian government’s “Incredible India” tourism campaign and the information technology growth in India have been attracting millions of foreign tourists and business tourists to India.
Medical tourism has also recently mushroomed in India. Tourism industry is a big foreign exchange earner in India, yet the industry still is hampered by Tourism development has always has been an integral part of the country’s five-year plans. Initially allocations were meager: Rs. 3. 36 crore in the Second Plan,Rs. 5 crore in the Third Plan & Rs. 36 crore in the Fourth Plan. It was doubled in the Fifth Plan. The National Tourism Policy in 1982 gave a momentum to this sector. Expenditure rose from about Rs. 187 crore in the Seventh Plan to Rs. 95 crore in the Ninth Plan and further to Rs. 2900 crore in the Tenth five-year Plan. The Tourism Development Corporation, Tourism Finance Corporation, Hotel Management and Catering Technology Institutes, Food Craft Institutes, Indian Institute Tourism and Travel Management, India Tourism Development Corporation, Indian Association of Tour Operators, Travel Agents Association of India and a large number of hotel management colleges, sports and adventure clubs, beach resorts etc have also contributed to the growth and development of this industry. Emphasis laid on HRD is clear.
The first major effort to promote the industry was launched with the announcement of 1991 as the ‘Visit India Year’. Enormous tourist resources were commercialized. The first ever Indian Tourism Day was celebrated on January 25, 1998. The year 1999 was celebrated as ‘Explore India Millennium Year’ with a host of shows, exhibitions etc. The next decade saw the restructuring of the schemes of Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits, and Product/Infrastructure Destination Development. Additional schemes/incentives were announced for service providers. Upgrading of beaches, airports, tax incentives were also introduced.
Besides creating an official website for the Tourism Ministry, now the calendar of events is planned. Even the new initiatives to encourage the NRIs and PIOs, through visit India programmes, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebration, Dual Citizenship to certain categories of diasporic Indians have given much fillip to tourism in India. Thanks also to the booming IT and outsourcing industry a growing number of business trips are made by foreigners to India, who will often add a weekend break or longer holiday to their trip. Foreign tourists, generally spend more in India than almost any other country worldwide.
Tourist arrivals are projected to increase by over 22 per cent per year through till 2010, with a 33 per cent increase in foreign exchange earnings recorded in 2004. The Tourism Ministry has also played an important role in the development of the industry, initiating advertising campaigns such as the “Incredible India” campaign, which promoted India’s culture and tourist attractions in a fresh and emorable way. The tourism industry has helped growth in other sectors as diverse as horticulture, handicrafts, agriculture, construction and even poultry.
India’s governmental bodies have also made a significant impact in tourism by requiring that each and every state of India have a corporation to administer support issues related to tourism. The tourism industry of India is based on certain core nationalistic ideals and standards which are: Swaagat or welcome, Sahyog or cooperation, Soochanaa or information, Sanrachanaa or infrastructure, Suvidha or facilitation, Safaai or cleanliness and Surakshaa or security. Commonwealth Games is the additional opportunity for the Travel Industry to gain some additional business, by offering special tour packages to the tourists.
As per the reports, it is estimated that more than 3. 5 million tourists are going to reach India in 2010 to be a part of the eminent Commonwealth Games that are scheduled to be held in Delhi – the capital city of India. It is the high time for the India’s Tourism Industry, as the foreign tourists will be heavily dependent upon them for the flight bookings, hotel reservations, travel itineraries and visas. The growth of India Tourism market is also equally beneficial for the several associated industries such as the aviation industry, medical tourism industry and hotel industry.
However year 2008, sees a whopping rise in the arrival of eco tourists in the country. Recently a new concept ‘Rural Tourism’ has been launched by the government in India, which is equally doing very well. It is believed that in the next few years India Tour Industry will gain new heights and the percentage of India’s share in the global tourism will grow 1. 5% by 2010. Industry is going to fetch maximum business from the Agra (Taj Mahal), Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala , Gujarat and Rajasthan, that are expected to receive maximum number of tourists.