Published on : Monday, October 30, 2017
What is required moving forward is more visa liberalization, international airports, airline connectivity through regional hubs, well located affordable hotels and structured highways.
The major change in the past 10 years has been visa on arrival and online visa which have been a big boon and made it very convenient for inbound tourists. There has also been an increase in the number of international airports and low-cost carriers, resulting in more flights and destinations having bilateral agreements with India.
Newer segments are attracting foreign tourists. A new segment in inbound sector is medical and wellness. This is attracting many tourists to Kerala and Goa. The new area that has emerged is the Spa culture which has gained popularity in past few years amongst the tourists. Certain niche markets have also been given a boost- Golf Tourism, rural & interactive tourism, adventure, sport activities, fishing, etc. Many states like Kerala, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, are strongly promoting themselves and do understand the importance of tourism bringing in dollars that can help in bringing more infrastructural changes.
A major challenge is safety and security as India has a lot of negative publicity in the media. The tragic unfortunate incident in December 2012 dampened tourism and the image of India has taken a beating. It has scared a lot of global travellers which we need to recover from.
Other challenges being – Inadequate Infrastructure, inadequate air seat capacity, accessibility to tourist destinations, tax issues which hopefully will get sorted by GST, poor hygiene conditions and importantly competing destinations are more proactive and have large marketing budgets.
The outlook for the Travel & Tourism sector in 2017 remains robust and will continue to be at the forefront of wealth and employment creation in the global economy, despite the emergence of a number of challenging headwinds. Direct Travel & Tourism GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 3.8%, up from 3.1% in 2016.
Over the longer term, growth of the travel & tourism sector will continue to be strong so long as the investment and development takes place in an open and sustainable manner. Enacting pro-growth travel policies that share benefits more equitably can foster a talent and business environment necessary to enable travel & tourism to realise its potential. In doing so, not only can we expect the sector to support over 380 million jobs by 2027, but it will continue to grow its economic contribution, providing the rationale for the further protection of nature, habitats, and biodiversity.
Tags: Indian Tourism