GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Economic sectors: Tourism
Context: The Indian Ministry of Tourism has drafted a National Tourism Policy with key strategic objectives to enhance tourism’s contribution to the economy.
The key strategic objectives of the Policy are:
- To enhance the contribution of tourism to the Indian economy by increasing visitation, stay and spend and making India a year-round tourist destination
- To create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the tourism sector and ensure the supply of skilled workforce
- To enhance the competitiveness of the tourism sector and attract private-sector investment
- To preserve and enhance the cultural and natural resources
- To ensure sustainable, responsible and inclusive development of tourism in the country.
Key focus areas of the policy:
- Green tourism
- Digital tourism
- Destination management
- Skilling in the hospitality sector and
- Supporting tourism-related MSMEs
|Key Recommendations of the Committee|
|National Tourism Council (NTC)||Create NTC similar to the GST council|
|Provide recommendations to governments on tourism issues|
|Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality Sector||Spending Capex above Rs. 25 crores to receive subsidies on operating costs|
|Attract investments in the sector|
|Acknowledge industry status for hospitality projects in eight States|
|Tourism in Concurrent List||Include Tourism in the concurrent list (Currently state subject)|
|Simplify pandemic-related issues in the tourism sector|
|Industry Status to Sector||Grant industry status to promote investments|
|Formalize infrastructure status for hotels|
Status of Tourism in India
- India is ranked 54th place in the global travel and tourism development index 2021, down from 46th in 2019.
- World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated over US$170 billion or 5.8% of India’s GDP and supported over 3 crore jobs in 2021
- As of 2022, there are 40 World Heritage Siteslocated in India. Out of these, 32 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one, the Khangchendzonga National Park, is of mixed type.
- India has the sixth largest number of world heritage sites in the world.
Government Initiatives for Tourism in India:
|Adopt a Heritage||Encourages public-private partnerships to develop tourist-friendly amenities at heritage, natural, and tourist sites under CSR and other funds.|
|Travel for LiFE||Promotes sustainable tourism through mindful actions by tourists and tourism businesses in using tourism resources.|
|100% FDI||Allows foreign investment in the tourism and hospitality industry in India, subject to applicable regulations and laws.|
|Swadesh Darshan Scheme||Provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/UT Administrations for infrastructure development of 13 theme-based circuits.|
|PRASAD Scheme||Aims at the holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.|
|Iconic Tourist Sites||Develop Buddhist sites at Bodhgaya, Ajanta & Ellora as Iconic Tourist Sites to enhance India’s soft power.|
|Buddhist Conclave||Organizes Buddhist Conclave to promote India as a Buddhist Destination in major global markets.|
|Dekho Apna Desh’s Initiative||Encourages citizens to travel widely within India, promoting domestic tourism and enhancing tourist facilities and infrastructure.|
The need of the hour is faster development of all types of infrastructure (physical, social, and digital) to support tourism. Ensuring the safety of tourists is a top priority, and an official guide system could be introduced to enhance their experience. India’s vast size and diverse natural, geographic, cultural, and artistic offerings present immense opportunities for the tourism industry to thrive and capitalize on its potential.
Tourism is considered to be important for the country’s economy. It is a multi-segment industry which brings in a lot of economic value & associated benefits. Discuss the positive economic effects of tourism. (15M)