Tourism Market Initiative in India: Essay Fountain

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India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain – from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline – and history reaching back 5 millennia. Tourism in India is important for the country’s economy. The World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated 15. 24 lakh crore or 9. 4% of India’s GDP in 2017 and supported 41. 622 million jobs, 8% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6. 9% to 32. 05 lakh crore by 2028 (9. 9% of GDP). In October 2015, India’s medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3 billion, and it is projected to grow to US$7–8 billion by 2020. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report for the year 2017, ranked India 40th out of 136 countries overall. The report ranks the price competitiveness of India’s tourism sector 10th out of 136 countries. It mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 32nd), particularly given the country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 29th). The country also scores high on natural and cultural resources (ranked 9th). However, some other aspects of its tourism infrastructure remain somewhat underdeveloped. The World Tourism Organization reported that India’s receipts from tourism during 2012 ranked 16th in the world, and 7th among Asian and Pacific countries.

The Ministry of Tourism designs national policies for the development and promotion of tourism. In this process, the Ministry consults and collaborates with other stakeholders in the sector including various central ministries / agencies, state governments, union territories and private sector representatives. Concerted efforts are being made to promote niche tourism products such as rural, cruise, medical and eco-tourism. The Ministry of Tourism maintains the Incredible India campaign focused on promoting the tourism in India.

Tourism Marketing

With global international tourist arrivals reaching one billion each year, and growth only expected to increase, opportunities in the tourism industry are endless. Yet many destinations and tourism businesses fail to achieve success. Marketing is a major part of the problem, but it is also an integral part of the solution. Therefore, stop marketing. Start marketing with a purpose. A successful tourism business requires a brand that speaks to its target markets, content that successfully generates potential clients and a level of service that listens to customers’ demands, all within ever diminishing budget constraints.

Incredible India

Incredible India is the name of an international tourism campaign maintained by the Government of India since 2002, to promote tourism in India to an audience of global appeal. The “Incredible India” title was officially branded and promoted by Amitabh Kant, the then Joint Secretary under the Union Ministry of Tourism, in 2002.

Initiatives of Ministry of Tourism

The key initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism covered areas such as promotion of safe and honourable tourism, infrastructure development, publicity, promotion and marketing, skill development, simplification of procedures for the classification/reclassification of hotels and restaurants, development of niche tourism products, use of technology for service delivery and market research. The highlights of the initiatives taken in the various areas are as below:

Infrastructure Development

In the Budget for 2014-15 two new schemes have been proposed with the following allocation:

  1. Rs. 500 crore for developing 5 tourist circuits around specific themes.
  2. Rs. 100 crore for National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenations and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).

Publicity Promotion and Marketing:

  1. TV commercials (TVC) on north-eastern region and Jammu & Kashmir are being produced.
  2. 9 City Maps have been uploaded on the official website of Ministry of Tourism.
  3. The road shows for promoting the tourism destinations and products of country have been organized in USA, Europe and China in collaboration with stake holders.
  4. The markets for opening of India Tourism Marketing representatives (ITMR) have been finalized and RFP has been formulated.
  5. The National Guidelines for safety and security of tourists has been formulated.
  6. Relevant guidelines for holding spiritual festivals at Bodh Gaya through State Government of Bihar in collaboration with International Monasteries located there, in lean season are being firmed up in consultation with MEA and MHA.

Safe and Honourable tourism

  1. The National Conference of State Tourism Ministers held on 21. 8. 2014 has discussed promotion of Safe and Honourable Tourism with special emphasis on Safe and Honourable tourism.
  2. All the State Government/UT Administration resolved to continue to ensure the safety and security of all the tourists specially women tourists.

Skill Development

  1. Ministry of Tourism has tied-up with Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne, Switzerland for improving quality of Hospitality Education. First phase has already started.
  2. The foundation stone for setting up of Indian Culinary Institute has been laid on 02-09-2014.
  3. A decision has been taken to set up Sector Skill Council (SSC) to regulate and promote hospitality and tourism related education and skill development in the country.
  4. 11367 persons trained under Hunar Se Rozgar Tak scheme from in this financial year upto August 2014.
  5. Culinary Survey of India, for identification and documentation of recipes has been launched.
  6. In order to overcome the bottleneck of shortage of Chinese speaking tourist guides in India, the Ministry has organized 3 month Tourist Facilitator Training Course at Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management at Noida for the Executives of tour operator members of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.
  7. Six months certificate courses in 4 Hospitality Trades have been launched.
  8. h) Capacity building programme for Tourist Transport Drivers has been conducted.

Hotel and Restaurants

  1. Guidelines revised for classification / re- classification for the hotels under 5 Star, 4 Star, Heritage Classic – with alcohol service or without alcohol service.
  2. Sensitization workshops on Bed & Breakfast / Home stay with all States /UTs and stake holders of tourism industry have been completed. This will add room capacity at tourist destination in the country.
  3. List of Bed & Breakfast / Home stay establishment have been posted in the Ministry of Tourism website.
  4. Hotel Classification/re-classification/application system simplified.

Niche Tourism

  1. Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) for three important Sectors of Tourism Industry – Accommodation, Tour Operators and Beaches, Backwaters, Lakes & Rivers have been launched on 26. 8. 2014.
  2. Action has been taken for inviting foreign adventure tour operators to familiarize them with the Incredible Indian Himalayas.
  3. Guidelines for promotion of Golf Tourism revised.
  4. Guidelines for the Promotion of Wellness & Medical tourism revised.
  5. Scheme for use of Satellite Phones for Adventure Tour Operators drafted.
  6. Revised Guidelines for the Promotion of Wellness & Medical Tourism has been formulated.

Use of Technology for service delivery

  1. Electronic Visa on Arrival (ETA) has been announced.
  2. Ministry of Tourism has upgraded its website www. incredibleindia. org. New features such as Walking Tours, Audio-Tours, Holiday Planner and 360 degree view of monuments have been added on the website. In addition, selection of system integrator for developing new website of the Ministry has been initiated.
  3. Online monitoring of time bound public grievances has been done.
  4. An online Financial Accounting System (FAS) has been implemented by the Overseas offices.
  5. Mobile application for listing of classified Hotels and recognized Tour Operator/Travel Agents developed.
  6. The work for preparation of on-line computerized Institute Management System for IHMs/FCIs has been initiated.
  7. Content of the promotional website of MOT www. incredibleindia. org is being translated in 8 International languages viz. Arabic, Chinese (simplified) French, German, Japanese, Russian, Korean and Spanish.
  8. In Ministry of Tourism website the feature of streaming videos is being added.

Initiatives of ministry of medical tourism

  1. A new category of visa “Medical Visa” has been introduced by Ministry of Home Affairs, which can be given for specific purpose to foreign tourists coming to India for medical treatment.
  2. The Ministry of Tourism has included the promotion of Medical Tourism as new initiatives. The Marketing Development Assistance Scheme (MDA), administered by the Ministry of Tourism, provides financial support to approved tourism service providers.
  3. To boost medical tourism, the government announced setting up of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board to provide help to those visiting the country for health care need. The Board, besides Ministry officials, will include other stakeholders such as hospitals, hoteliers, medical experts and tour operators.

Conclusion

The impact of tourism on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial development and business performance is well recognised. Due to low start-up costs and low barriers to entry, tourism creates business opportunities for small entrepreneurs in various tourism-related business activities, including in local agricultural, manufacturing, services and construction-related businesses. The most notable one is business opportunities in tourism-related services, such as accommodations, food outlets, tourist agents or guides, retails, and sport facilities, since local and foreign tourists need various services along their stays on the islands. The results of this study have proven empirically that tourism has significant positive impacts on the financial and non-financial performances of the small tourism businesses. This consolidates tourism development heory that tourism brings about positive impact on the local economy in general and entrepreneurial development in particular. It also provides a clear signal that any efforts by governments in promoting and developing the tourism industry would bring about positive impact on the performance of small tourism businesses.

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