ETW Staff – Mumbai
The tourism sector has a major role to play to promote faster, sustainable and more inclusive economic growth. It has better prospects for promoting pro-poor growth than many other sectors. This is because tourism is labour intensive and involves a collection of activities, services and industries comprising transportation, accommodation, eating and drinking establishments, retail shops, entertainment businesses and other hospitality services provided to individuals or groups travelling away from home for leisure, business or other purposes. The broad scope of economic activities involved enables wide participation in its growth, including participation by the informal sector.
As per the second Tourism Satellite Account of India 2009-10, the contribution of Tourism in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment generation in the country in 2009-10, has been estimated to be 6.8 per cent and 10.2 per cent, respectively. The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the years 2002-2012 were INR 5,22,206 Crore.
Although the tourism sector in India has grown in recent years, it is felt that with India’s vast bounties of nature, its great treasures of art, architecture and philosophical thought, its rich cultural heritage, its varied rural countryside and wildlife, age old practices of Yoga, Siddha, etc. spread across different States/Union Territories (UTs), there is immense tourism potential to tap, which can lead to further growth in tourism.
The ministry of tourism has taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting the nascent/upcoming niche products of the tourism industry such as cruise, adventure, medical wellness, golf, polo, meetings incentives conference and exhibitions (MICE), eco-tourism, development of camp sites, caravan tourism, campaign parks, film tourism, etc. This is done in order to overcome the aspect of ‘seasonality’ to promote India as a 365 day destination, attract tourists with specific interests and to ensure repeat visits for the products in which India has a comparative advantage.
This information was given by the minister of state for tourism K Chiranjeevi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.