Tourism contributes 10 per cent of India’s GDP
Tourism has been playing a vital role in the economic development of India; the contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP is around 10 per cent in 2018 as per recent reports of ‘Statista’.
As per the report tourism accounted for over USD 250 billion in 2018 covering around 10 per cent of India’s economy of USD 2.5 trillion.
According to a Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2018 India report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts), was USD 214.6 billion in 2017 (9.4 per cent of GDP) and was expected to grow by 7.5 per cent to USD 230.8 billion (9.4 per cent of GDP)
There has been a shift in the insight of tourism in 2018, with more people starting to look at travelling as an escape from their monotonous work cycle. Apart from this shift in perception, several measures taken by the Ministry of Tourism has helped in boosting tourism within the country.
Easier and simplified visa process, improved infrastructure facilities, enhanced marketing strategies, including in social media are said to be the driving factor for the growth of tourism sector in India.
The e-visa policy, launched in November 2014 for 44 countries at nine airports, has been extended to 166 countries, 26 airports and three seaports. These e-visas are available for tourism, business, medical purposes and conferences.
The visa policy played an important role in attracting higher tourist footfalls into India as reflected in a healthy growth in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) using e-Visa. The number for foreign tourist arrivals in India jumped 16 per cent to 8.8 million in 2016 from 7.68 million in 2014.
With an objective to improve the infrastructural facilities in tourism centers, the government has envisaged a number of novel concepts. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme was one of the major scheme that helped in the development of infrastructure facilities.
Under this scheme, the government has sanctioned 73 projects across 30 states and Union Territories in the country till date for an amount of Rs 5,873.99 crore. Seven projects were sanctioned during FY19 for a total amount of Rs 384.67 crore.
Nine of the above projects were inaugurated between August to December 2018 in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Over the past ten years, the travel and tourism sector is known to have created one in five of all jobs across the world and, with the right regulatory conditions and government support, nearly 100 million new jobs could be created over the decade ahead, according to the WTTC report.
Another step forward was the “Adop a Heritage Project” implemented in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), to provide world-class tourist facilities at the various natural/cultural heritage sites, monuments and other tourist sites. Under this scheme, PSUs and corporate organizations undertake to adopt a heritage site and take care of its conservation and maintenance.
Apart from the cited reasons, the ‘Incredible India’ website of the tourism ministry has also contributed to the growth of the tourism sector. The efforts of state governments and the initiatives by various tourism departments and increased use of social media for marketing the important tourism centers have also been considered factors helped the tourism industry to grow in an increased pace.