Growth of tourism industry in India.
The tourism industry of any country is the source to boost the economy, create jobs, develop infrastructure and plant a sense of cultural exchange between travellers and locals.
India is the land of 37 UNESCO heritage sites, blessed with cultural diversity, heritage, history, architectural wonders and a varied topographic range. Moreover, the country has different regions to entertain everyone’s interest. Therefore, tourism in India has progressive potential in terms of economic development, national integration and cultural growth. As per the study reports, about 9% of India’s GDP comes from the Indian travel and tourism industry, and around 40 million jobs are created by the industry every year. However, the steady growth of the travel and tourism industry in the country implies that it has a long way to go before completely exploiting this sector.
HISTORY OF TOURISM IN INDIA
The earliest tourism records in India can be dated back to pilgrimage. Earlier, the idea of tourism was limited to commercial and trading purposes. According to the history of India, emperors/kings travelled to different destinations to establish business relations and trade routes with the neighbouring country/kingdom. However, the present form of tourism started when Portuguese, Persians and others visited India for commercial purposes. Thus, it marked the beginning of foreign tourism in the country.
In 1966, the Indian Tourism Development Corporation, an official tourism plan, was introduced to improve infrastructure and encourage tourism in India. Similarly, the first tourism policy gets applied to focus on the potential of economic development by the tourism industry. Followed by the Planning commission setting up several 5-year plans to attract global tourism.
GROWTH OF TOURISM IN INDIA
As per the statistical report, the growth in tourism of India increased from 16.80 thousand in 1951 to over 2.5 million in 2000. Although the rise is steady, it is not as expected in comparison to the population. On the other hand, India is driving revenue from domestic tourism, with approximately 1.5 billion people making travel plans to visit different states in India. However, this isn’t the case for FTA (Foreign Tourist Arrival) in India, mainly because of the immigration rules. Some other reasons behind low FTA are underdeveloped travel facilities, safety concerns and poor sanitisation. India is taking necessary actions to fulfil the conditions.
The launch of the Incredible India campaign in 2002 revived the trend of foreign tourist arrivals. Coupled with several open-sky policies and private-government partnerships, it helps to bring back the glory of the tourism industry in India.