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Lessons from Thailand on Tourism

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Economy – Tourism


Source: LM


Context: Thailand is known for its tourism. This article highlights lessons that can be incorporated by India to boost its tourism sector.


Initiatives by Thailand:

  • Introducing visa-free travel for G20 countries and Southeast Asian neighbours, as Thailand does, to attract more foreign tourists.
  • Thailand’s ability to respond quickly to changes in the tourism industry, as demonstrated by their decision to eliminate the Thailand Pass requirement, boosted tourist arrivals.


Statistics of Tourism in India:

  • Attracted only 11 million tourists in 2019.
  • India’s Tourism is ranked 10th position in terms of its contribution to World GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the World Travel and Tourism Council’s report in 2019.
  • During 2019, the contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was 6.8% of the total economy.
  • In FY20, the tourism sector in India accounted for 39 million jobs, which was 8.0% of the total employment in the country.By 2029, it is expected to account for about 53 million jobs.


Examples from Thailand:

  • The presence of street food options in a luxurious shopping mall, where tourists can order using QR codes and receive VAT refunds. The affordability of the food contrasts with the expensive fashion brands available upstairs.
  • Increasing vegan and vegetarian options to attract more Indian tourists.
Importance of ‘Tourism’ in IndiaChallenges to the Growth of Tourism in India
Generates Income and EmploymentInadequate infrastructure (roads, water, hotels, etc.)
Boosts the service sectorSafety and security concerns for tourists
Contributes to foreign exchange earningsLack of skilled manpower
Helps in preserving national heritage and environmentAbsence of basic amenities at tourist places
Renews cultural prideSeasonality in tourism
Puts India on the global map of tourism and initiates cultural exchangeNon-acceptance of international cards at small outlets
Facilitates cultural diplomacy and people-to-people connect


Indian Initiatives to Boost Tourism:

Tourism Development Schemes/InitiativesDescription
Swadesh Darshan SchemeProvides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for infrastructure development of theme-based circuits
CircuitsNorth-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, and Heritage Circuit
PRASHAD SchemeUndertakes integrated development of pilgrimage destinations, including employment generation
Adopt a Heritage ProjectEntrusts heritage and tourist sites to private and public sector companies for development
Paryatan ParvEncourage Indians to visit tourist destinations


Insta Links:

Schemes under the Ministry of Tourism


Mains Link:

Evaluate the policies and schemes that are being used to promote tourism in India amidst the impact of covid-19 pandemic.