Just before independence in 1945, a conscious and diligent effort was taken for the promotion of tourism in India; a committee was deployed to look into this matter headed by sir john Sargent.
After this the tourism industry evanesced for a long time but soon in 1956, an organized plan was announced under 2nd five year plan to strengthen tourism industry. But it was only in 1982 a national policy on tourism was announced and the industry got recognition as a major accoutrement to the nation’s development and economic growth.
In 1988 national committee on tourism proposed an elaborated plan to achieve substantial growth in tourism. In 1992, a National Action Plan was prepared and in 1996 the National Strategy for Promotion of Tourism was drafted.
In 1997, the New Tourism Policy recognised the roles of Central and State governments, public sector undertakings and the private sector in the development of tourism. Now the Ministry of Tourism is focusing on preservation and enrichment of natural and cultural resources to ensure positive impact on environmental protection and community development.
In order to create awareness, the Ministry of Tourism organized four conferences in 2008 across India on themes of responsible tourism, community participation and empowerment and waste management, etc.
Tourism industry is growing by leaps and bounds, even when the world economic growth is afflicted with recession. It contributes 6.23% to the national GDP and provides 8.78% of the total employment.
India witnesses more than 5 million annual foreign tourist arrivals and 562 million domestic tourist visits. As per tourism satellite account (STA) the total foreign exchange earnings (FEE) in the year 2009 is US $ 11.39 billion and the foreign tourist arrivals(FTA) is 5.11million which provides a clarion proof about the role of tourism in the country’s total foreign exchange earnings and thus the economy. Not only this it’s an evergreen industry, employees need not work under the constant fear of recession and being fired.
The rich heritage and pristine beauty of the country is a brand to sell. With the arrival of tavern giants as Hilton, Radisson, Hyatt etc. the country’s infrastructural development has actually got sound. Tourism also encourages the multi-purpose infrastructure development as sports complex, health care facilities, transportation etc. thereby strengthen the infrastructure which is the must for the incitement of tourism in the country.
Apart from this India has become a favourite destination of medical tourism too. Factors such as low cost, scale and range of treatments provided in the country add to its attractiveness as a medical tourism destination.
Naturopathy and ayurvedic treatment, which uses herbal plants and natural aura to treat the patient and is assumed to have no side effects at all. Globalisation proved to be a real shot in arm for this industry as the people from abroad come to get a taste of this kind of treatment.
Yoga has also become a craze among foreigners; they spend a lot to assimilate this. The inner peace, spiritual experience and religion these are all the tourist invest to experience in India.Thus has succoured ample jobs and a definite rise in the nation’s economy.
Tourism also leads to preservation of the heritage sites and maintenance of parks. User fees, taxes on sales or rental of recreation equipment, and license fees for activities such as rafting and fishing provides government with the funds needed to manage natural resources. Such funds can be used for overall conservation programs and activities, such as park ranger salaries and park maintenance.
This enhances the pristine beauty of the rich nature and natural habitat of the country. This has been promoted by the ministry of tourism under the name eco-tourism.
Role of tourism industry on the rural economy is also phenomenal. The handicrafts, archaic ornaments, carpets, leather goods, ivory and brass work are the main shopping items of foreign tourists. It is estimated through survey that nearly forty per cent of the tourist expenditure on shopping is spent on such items. These are souvenirs one want to carry. This not only supports artisans and their apt by providing hefty demand of their apt full work but also provide lofty money in return.
Under the Incredible India campaign by the nodal agency to promote tourism in India, it is expected to generate US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate. By relaxing the FDI policies the Indian government has escalated the possibility of amplified investment, thus amplified employment and thus amplified economy.
Tourism industry in India is thriving industry and it has vast potential for generating employment and earning large amount of foreign exchange besides giving a push up to the country’s economic and social development. According to the latest Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) research.
The demand for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow by 8.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 and will place India at the third position in the world.
India’s travel and tourism sector is expected to be the second largest employer in the world, employing 40,037,000 by 2019.
Capital investment in India’s travel and tourism sector is expected to grow at 8.8 per cent between 2010 and 2019.
The report forecasts India to get capital investment worth US$ 94.5 billion in the travel and tourism sector in 2019.
India is projected to become the fifth fastest growing business travel destination from 2010-2019 with an estimated real growth rate
It is pellucid clear that the tourism industry is a bonanza, yet to be exploited fully. Tourism in India should be developed in such a way that it accommodates and entertains visitors in a way that is minimally intrusive or destructive to the environment and sustains the native cultures in the locations it is operating in. proper guidance i.e. tactful and precise advertising is required to multiply the tourists.
First time tourists are to be enthralled with new experiences. Nature lovers are to be suitably guided to the game sanctuaries, beach lovers are to be guided to seaside resorts and people who come for the spiritual and Yoga experience have to reach their destination without a hitch.
Visitors who come for history and culture are to be ushered to the place of their interest. If the country and government be able to provide the right kind of information to the right kind of tourists, this industry will flourish to an unexpected level and will reach its acme and contribute a bigger pie of GDP of the country.
This industry will prove to be the tycoon employer of the country in the coming days. Counting the potential of Tourism industry it can be said that it can change this land into real Eldorado.