The number of tourists reaching the country is increasing every year. The tourism industry in India contributes around 8% to the country’s total GDP. India is the fastest-growing economy in the world and is expected to be the third-largest tourist destination in the next 10 years. Read this blog to learn more about the history and growth of Tourism in India.
Evolution of Tourism in India:
At present, in India, over 220 million tourists visit annually which is about 25% more than the figures of tourists during 2010. If we look back at the statistics, tourists have been visiting the country for around 500 years, since the time of Akbar the Great. He took his Delhi visits to religious places in 1398, the height of the Mughal era. There is a widespread belief that tourism in India provided a solution to the demographic and financial problems of Indian farmers. The farmers were compelled to work hard in their fields during the harvest seasons. Their salary earned from the harvest was not enough to cover the needs of the families.
The effort made by the founder of modern tourism in India, Aga Khan, was aimed to fulfill this problem. In the 1930s, Aga Khan started promoting tourism in his homeland of Marduk and developed a resort for tourists. It is believed that if the tourists come, the job requirement of the farmers will increase. This will help them and also benefit the tourism industry.
Tourism in India at Present:
The short answer to the question ‘How much additional employment can roughly be created by the promotion of tourism?’ is 15%. This is not very much if we take tourism to be the medium for creating employment – a process that typically takes many years to develop. In order to have an impact on the 15%, the activities must be rolled out rapidly.
In developing tourism, one of the main challenges is the capacity to promote tourism in a timely manner. Tourism services are very capital-intensive. The initial investment in tourism infrastructure is substantial. The capacity to promote tourism requires the provision of services that allow people to plan their journeys more precisely.
The services that are needed to promote tourism include:
Information about the range of tourism activities and facilities that are available. An example is the route map that is available on the tourist information centers.
Publicity to attract tourists from other parts of the country and from around the world.
Agencies that certify hotel quality:
Accommodation and services that meet the requirements for quality tourism.
These provide information about tourist accommodations, local tourist information centers, and tours.
This provides details of the tourists that visit the country.
Each tourist guide is given an identification number. The information that is available on the Internet can be used to verify that the identification number is accurate.
Tourists who plan their holidays must be able to select the tourism activities that suit their needs and their budgets. They must be able to select the travel agencies that can help them.
Initiatives for Tourism in India:
Then, in order to promote tourism in a timely manner, tourism service providers and tourism infrastructure must be developed. This can take decades. It will take at least a decade to create the necessary services. However, in India, the Government is promoting tourism by establishing tourism infrastructure. Each tourist facility must be inspected and certified by an independent agency. This process takes time. On top of this, it is expected that the Government of India will establish an industry department that will provide assistance to industries that want to create tourism infrastructure. In other words, in India, the promotion of tourism takes time, but the result is a 15% boost in employment.
While tourism can serve as a growth catalyst, in my view, the important aspect of tourism is the promotion of tourism activities, in tourist information offices and in the tourist guides that are being established. This will allow individuals to plan their trips accurately and attract a large number of tourists to the country.
This is not all. As part of the industry’s contribution to the implementation of the Project, tourism services will be available for educational purposes. Tourists will be able to learn about traditional life in India and about the country’s cultural diversity.
As I have argued in a recent article, the tourism sector should not just be part of the diversification of the economy, but should also be promoted to create jobs. What can tourism achieve in this regard? Tourism employs more than 30 million people globally and almost 2 million in India. This makes tourism the most important source of employment in India. Employment from tourism has significant demand and scope in India.
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