The Ministry of Railways, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, is launching its Jagannath Yatra train package, an eight day tour that begins in from Delhi, traverses Kashi, Baidyanath Dham, Jagannath Puri, Bhubaneshwar and Konark, and ends at the Vishnupad temple in Gaya.
Historical Background of Tourism
- India has always been a popular destination for travelers exploring spiritual enlightenment and self discovery.
- For centuries many great foreign travelers have visited India and shared their experiences in the form of memoirs, travelogs, poetry and books, as Megasthenes, HiuenTsang, Marco Polo, and FaHien have shown.
- India is a tourist destination to rekindle one’s inner self.
- As the birthplace to four major world religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, India can truly claim to be the world’s spiritual beacon.
- The contribution of the tourism sector to India’s GDP had reached ~US$ 250 billion in 2018. The contribution had fallen to US$ 122 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic.
- The share of Tourism to GDP has hovered around ~5-6%. With post-pandemic recovery, the tourism industry is expected to reach US$ 512 billion by 2028.
- Tourism Sector is the third-largest foreign exchange earner for the country in 2019.
- The foreign exchange earnings between 2016 and 2019 increased at a CAGR of 7%, but dipped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- By 2028, Indian tourism and hospitality is expected to earn US$ 50.9 billion as visitor exports compared with US$ 28.9 billion in 2018.
- Foreign Tourist arrivals had reached 10.9 million in 2019, before falling to 2.7 million in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Challenges of Tourism Sector
- Lack of Infrastructure – It is a major challenge for the Indian tourism sector. This includes hotels, connectivity with other cities, health facilities, and transportation etc.
- Safety and Security – Safety & security of tourists is the most important factor which governs whether people will come to that destination or not.
- Attacks on foreign tourists, especially on women tourists have raised this question.
- COVID-19 pandemic: The Indian tourism and hospitality sector were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and saw substantial job loss.
- Business Hurdles, Lack of Hygiene and Comfortable accommodation
- Lack of integrated tourism promotion
Different Ministries Campaigns for Tourism
- The government of India has always felt that the promotion of India’s tourism will only be effective when different Ministries at the Union level and States work in cohesion by combining their domain expertise.
- Over the last eight years, the Ministry of Tourism has prioritized the task of inter ministerial cooperation and coordination, breaking down silos and working together effectively with other Ministries.
- The Ministry of Tourism coordinates its work effectively with over 20 central government Ministries in the promotion and the development of tourism in the country.
Ministry of Home Affairs
In October 2022, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Home Affairs organized the National Conference on Tourist Police (to develop tourist specific policing), aimed at working with the police and sensitizing them on addressing the needs of foreign and domestic tourists.
Ministry of Education
In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Tourism Ministry has begun establishing ‘Yuva Tourism’ clubs to nurture young ambassadors of Indian tourism.
Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
It is aiming to make India an attractive cruise tourism destination using stateoftheart infrastructure. India’s middle class is now prioritizing some of their discretionary spending on new experiences such as cruises.
Ministry of External Affairs
In partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs, tourism officers have been placed in 20 Indian missions in countries that contribute to some of the highest foreign tourist arrivals in India. Their role includes facilitating and providing inputs for country specific sensibilities and having them reflected in tourism products.
Ministry of Roadways and the Petroleum
Steps are being taken to ensure that highways and fuel stations have clean sanitation infrastructure.
Ministry of Civil Aviation
The Ministry of Tourism is also funding several commercial flight routes in partnership with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, making them viable.
|Visit India Year 2023
National Tourism Policy 2022 policy has been formulated after situational analysis including the impact of COVID19 and taking into account future projections for the tourism sector with a vision for India@100.
- One of the ideas includes an institutional structure that can take concurrent and coordinated action across the Union, State and local government levels in partnership with industry.
- It is this ‘whole of government’ approach that has equipped India with the ability to host the G20 presidency, 20 countries,11 special invitee countries, and nearly one lakh delegates will participate in 200 meetings at over 50 locations.
- Every delegate or visitor who is in India to attend the G20 summit will return as a brand ambassador and spread the word on India’s rich cultural, spiritual and natural heritage.
- In May 2022, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Copenhagen, Denmark, he urged the Indian diaspora to inspire at least five of their nonIndian friends to visit India.
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Launched by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), is a Central Sector Program. The goal is to build integrated theme-based tourist circuits around the nation in 2014–15.
- National Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) launched in 2015, Scheme focuses on locating and developing pilgrim sites throughout the nation to encourage religious travel.
- ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’: Declared in 2015 to commemorate Sardar Patel’s 140th birthday.
The objective is to improve the ties between the states and India’s unity and integrity.
It highlights the states’ varied histories, cultures, traditions, and customs.
People can better comprehend and appreciate the diversity of the country through student exchange programs.
- Dekho Apna Desh programme hosts webinars, quizzes, pledge drives, and conversations to keep people in touch with stakeholders and promote domestic travel.
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UT Governments, and the Ministry of Tourism jointly launched the Adopt Heritage Project in 2017.
It envisions creating and maintaining tourist amenities at historical locations and making them accessible to visitors.
- The North East in 2020 : The North Eastern Region’s Ministry of Development hosts it every year. The festival emphasizes the NorthEast Region’s many potentials, including ecotourism, culture, heritage, and business.
In India, the industry has enormous unrealized potential. The tourism sector’s multiplier impact can help increase income levels and ensure inclusive growth. To ensure India’s transition to a high-income economy, a booming tourism industry may prove to be crucial. It is necessary to redesign the entire industry and strengthen its resistance to future shocks. Growth must be encouraged, however, sustainable growth that adheres to environmental standards is also vital.