India is witnessing high growth in the tourism sector as the country is able to consistently attract more foreign tourists in the past three years. 5 million foreign tourists visited India during the year 2007, as against 4.45 million in 2006 and 3.92 million in 2005.
The year 2004-05 saw tourism emerging as one of the major sectors for growth of Indian economy, the foreign exchange earnings increased from Rs. 16,429 crore to 21,828 crore up to December. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has named India and China as the countries with potential for achieving phenomenal growth in tourism industries in the next 10 to 15 years.
Measures taken by Govt of India for tourism promotion
Some of the important steps being taken to attract more foreign tourists in India include:
• Aggressive promotion of Indian tourism through “Incredible India” campaign run on prominent TV channels and magazines across the world, road shows in some of the key countries in Europe.
• Integrated development of tourism infrastructure at tourist circuits and destinations
• Growth of hotel infrastructure, particularly budget hotels
• Augmented domestic flight operations
• Long-term multiple entry tourist visas (for five year duration) extended for the tourists of 18 countries viz. France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Vietnam
• A nation wide print and television campaign run recently highlighting the effects of tourism and preservation of India’s rich heritage & culture, cleanliness and warm hospitality to foreign tourists
• Ministry of Tourism has approved 225 projects and allocated Rs. 4.6 billion in 2007-08 for tourism promotion as against 0.5 billion in 2004-05. best attraction Sentosa singapore
• Against the estimated requirement of 240,000 hotel rooms, the current availability is just 90,000 rooms. Ministry of tourism is providing incentives for the development of hotels in luxury as well as budget category.
• Keen focus is accorded to enhance the availability of english-speaking, skilled manpower in the hospitality sector and accreditation of genuine tourist operators.
Many foreign tourists visiting India feel that
• Many of the tourist site environments are unhealthy
• Facilities and services are poor in many tourist spots
• Inadequate transportation to reach and continue the journey
• Lodging and quality food facilities are very poor
• Limited availability of tourism information at very limited places
• Regional conflicts with in the states of India affects tourists in some areas
• Agitation and demonstration by political parties often result in cancellation of flights, trains etc., causing frustration and fear among tourists
• There is a lack of adequate security in some areas of the country which makes the tourists feel insecure
• Airports, roads and other infrastructures need to be upgraded to global standards to attract more foreign tourists.
• Lack of availability of English-speaking, educated, courteous manpower in the hospitality sector and accreditation of genuine tourist operators