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Sansad TV: Committee Report- Tapping India’s Tourism Potential

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Introduction:

Every region in India is identified with its handicraft, fairs, folk dances, music and its people. Hence, India is a country with a great potential for tourism. The tourism industry employs a large number of people, both skilled and unskilled. It promotes national integration and international brotherhood. There is no other country in the world which offers such a wide choice of destinations like India.

Impact of COVID-19 on travel and hospitality sector:  

  • Taking note of the massive disruption in the tourism and hospitality industry due to COVID-19, the Committee recommended:
  • Temporarily suspending all working capital, principal and interest payments for the sector
  • Extending the time periods for repayment or restructuring of loans by entities in the sector under the relief measures announced by the central government and the Reserve Bank of India.

Adventure tourism:

Potential and prospects :-

  • Generating Income and Employment: 
    • Tourism in India has emerged as an instrument of income and employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. It contributes 6.23% to the national GDP and 8.78% of the total employment in India. Almost 20 million people are now working in the India’s tourism industry.
  • Source of Foreign Exchange Earnings:
    • Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange earnings in India. This has favourable impact on the balance of payment of the country. The tourism industry in India generated about US$100 billion in 2008 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate.
  • The sector also has the potential to create micro-entrepreneurs who in turn can employ more people. The multiplier effect it delivers is high.
  • In fact, tourism helped Spain which receives over 68 million international tourists annually fight its recent economic downturn.
  • According to the World Tourism Organisation, the sector provides for 10 per cent of the world’s GDP, 7 per cent of the global trade and creates one in every 11 jobs worldwide.
  • Travel and tourism sector in India has the potential to grow much faster and support 46 million jobs by 2025, provided the right investments and policies continue to be implemented
  • The plans to develop 10 tourist destinations to attract more people to the country and enhance amenities under the Amrut programme, is a testimony to the intent being in the right direction.
  • Even the allocation of Rs 1,48,528 crore to bring state-of-the-art facilities such as WiFi and CCTVs for the Indian Railways is a welcome move. This policy will not only help boost domestic tourism in the country, but also positively impact the hotel and aviation sector thereby increasing employment and the sectors’ contribution to GDP.
  • Rural areas:
  • It will have contribution to the generation of national income, expansion of employment opportunities, rising of tax revenue, generation of foreign exchange .and transformation of regional economy.
  • Indian Tourism offers a potpourri of different cultures, traditions, festivals, and places of interest. There are a lot of options for the tourists. India is a country with rich cultural and traditional diversity. This aspect is even reflected in its tourism. The different parts of the country offer wide variety of interesting places to visit.
  • Direct benefits include economic support for hotels, retail shops, transportation services, entertainment venues and attractions, while indirect benefits include government spending on related infrastructure, plus the domestic spending of Indians employed in the tourism sector.

Conclusion

  • If the goal of positioning of India as one of the world’s best tourism destinations by 2047, there is need to integrate various schemes of different ministries.
  • Need to involve various stakeholders, and local communities; necessary interventions at urban and rural level should be a priority.