Indian tourism sector booms despite economic downturn

Published on : Friday, September 20, 2019

The Independence Day speech, on August 15, delivered by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the Red Fort, encouraging tourism in the country seems to have undoubtedly given a boost to this sector.


Interestingly, when warnings of recession and slowdown are being heard in sectors like auto, realty, and manufacturing, the tourism industry is booming. According to Global Business Travel Association, tourism is the third largest foreign exchange earning sector in the country. India is the 10th largest travel market in the world, and will stand at sixth place by the end of 2019, the association added.


According to the report, the tourism sector is also one of the biggest creators of employment in India, and till FY 2017-18, as many as 8.11 crore people were connected to this sector, and the same has increased to about 10 crores.


Daniel D’Souza, president and country head, SOTC travel agency, said, “The employment in the sector has also been growing in small towns and cities nowadays. It doesn’t only include soft skills, sales and operations. But we also need people who will work as guides at various destinations or people who can talk to tourists.”


Over 10 lakh foreign tourists visit the country every year, and their number is expected to rise in the coming years. Looking at the immense possibilities in this sector, the government has targeted to bring in two crores of foreign tourists by 2020, as it will also double the nation’s foreign earnings.


According to the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019, India is ranked at 34th position, which was 40th in 2017. India is the only lower middle income category country which is privileged to be in the top 35. The tourism sector is seeking to get industry status and pay attention to aspects like GST.


Notably, tourism sector in 2018 was the third largest contributor to bring foreign exchange to India. The state governments along with the Centre are also excited about this sector. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated a massive fund of Rs 720 crore from its budget in this fiscal to strengthen the tourism infrastructure.

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