SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS: TOURISM
1Introduction

India received the award of excellence at the New York Times Travel Show 2019. India was also honoured during the closing bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange. India was awarded the first prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019 at the “Internationale Tourisme-Bourse” (ITB) held in Berlin, Germany.

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2FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS (FTAs)

The Tourism industry in India is registering continuous growth which is significantly higher than the world average. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during the period January-November 2018 were 9.36 mn as compared to 8.86 mn in January-November 2017 registering a growth of 5.6% over the same period.1 The foreign exchange earnings of the Tourism industry in India added up to US$ 22.71 bn in 2018 as compared to US$ 20.3 bn in 2017, registering a growth of 11.9%.2

Sources 1, 2

3e-VISA

E-Visa continues to be a game changer for the Tourism industry. As of 2018, it is available for nationals of 166 countries and allows visits for business and medical treatment.1 The process of obtaining the e-Tourist Visa has been simplified significantly by addressing issues like more than one entry and longer lead period for applying for e-Visa. During 2018, a total of 2.06 mn tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1.46 mn during 2017, registering a growth of 41.5%.2

Sources 1, 2

4GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES

At a macro level, India’s jump in the international tourist arrivals category is due to the pro-active steps taken by the Government of India. This is mainly to develop the tourism infrastructure and ease entry formalities for tourists by introducing the e-visa facilities etc.

  • Integrated development of tourist circuits around specific themes – Swadesh Darshan
  • Development of theme based tourist circuits, competitiveness and sustainability. This is an integrated manner to enrich tourist experience and enhance employment opportunities.
  • Under the scheme, 9 projects were inaugurated in 2018 in the States of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Facilities like tourist facilitation centers, eco log huts, sound and light show, helipads, cafeteria, wayside amenities, nature trails, jetties, boat club, adventure zones, interpretation centers, water sports, craft villages, tribal thematic villages, illumination etc. have been developed as part of the above projects.
  • 74 projects worth over US$ 900 mn have been sanctioned by the Tourism Ministry under Swadesh Darshan Scheme (till September 2018). 30 projects/major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year.
  • National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) The scheme aims to develop basic infrastructure to support tourism and improve convenience. It covers aspects such as destination entry points like passenger terminals, basic conveniences like tourism Information/Interpretation Centers with ATM/ Money exchange counters, improvement of last mile connectivity, renewable sources of energy for tourist infrastructure, parking facilities, toilets, waiting rooms, Wi-Fi hotspots, among others.
  • Under PRASHAD scheme, 41 religious cities/sites in 25 States have been identified for development.1 
  • 24 projects worth over US$100 mn has been sanctioned by the Tourism Ministry under the PRASHAD scheme.2

Sources 1, 2

As on June 2019