The travel and tourism industry has supported in 2016 over 25, 400,000 jobs i.e., 5.8 percent of the total employment and has tremendous potential to rise by 2.5 percent provided the budgetary allocation was enhanced from the current 0.9% of the total allocation to atleast 0.15% in 2018-19.
The joint study conducted by ASSOCHAM–Yes Bank has proposed developmental interventions including tourism infrastructure development and the emergence of tourism themes.
Releasing the study, ASSOCHAM spokesperson said, the formation of National Tourism Authority (NTA) also needs to be taken up on priority and position it as an important authority. NTA could be the nodal agency for several activities like investment promotion, marketing, escalation resolutions, capturing and dissemination of more real-time tourism statistics, developmental planning and implementation coordination, extending support to State counterparts etc.
Tourism sector should be accorded lower GST slabs to make the Indian tourism industry more competitive as compared to other affordable global destinations.
Also India is fast developing into a Medical & wellness tourism hub of Asia because of superior quality healthcare services at a low treatment cost. Treatment of major surgeries in India costs approximately 20 percent of that in developed countries. Creation of Medical hubs through PPP will boost medical tourism. Wellness tourism should be promoted by marketing indigenous methodologies such as Yoga and Ayurveda.
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to Indian GDP was US$ 208.9 Bn, 9.6 percent of GDP in 2016, and is forecast to rise by 6.7 percent in 2017 and 10.0 percent of GDP in 2027. Further Travel & Tourism investment in 2016 accounted for 5.7 percent of total investment (USD34.0bn). It should rise by 4.5 percent in 2017, and rise by 5.7 percent p.a. over the next ten years to US$ 61.8bn in 2027, 5.7 percent of total.
India’s tourism and foreign income earnings are direct function of its Air Service Agreements. India has Bilateral Air Service Agreements, and follows a liberal Air Transport Policy relating to inbound international tourist charter operations. Although the policy on inbound charters is hassle-free, operators face issues with airport infrastructure, slots and delays in obtaining permissions from DGCA and other bodies which has a detrimental impact on the tourism.
India witnessed 8 Mn foreign tourist arrivals in CY2015, which has grown at a CAGR of ~6.0 percent during the period from CY2007 to CY2015. As per Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimates, the number of foreign tourist arrivals is expected to rise up to 12 million by CY2019, growing at a CAGR of 9.2 percent.