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