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  • USD 27.69 billion in Foreign Exchange Earnings(FEEs) through tourism during 2017 (20.8% growth over 2016)
  • 1613.55 million Domestic Tourist Visits during 2016.
  • India is host to 35 world heritage sites, 10 bio-geographical zones and 26 biotic provinces.
  • India was host to 10.18 million Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during 2017.
  • India has 21 Central institutes of hotel management
  • In India, 78 jobs are created with every USD 1 million invested in the sector
  • Tourism in India accounted for 6.88% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during 2012-13, being the third largest foreign exchange earner for the country
  • India registered 8.03 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2015, registering an annual growth of 4.5% over the previous year
  • The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism during 2015 were USD 21.07 billion
  • India is 15th in the world in terms of International Tourism Receipts with a share of 1.62% of the world's tourism receipts
  • India offers geographical diversity including 35 World Heritage Sites and 10 bio-geographic zones
  • India has a diverse portfolio of niche tourism products which includes cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports such as Golf and Polo, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions), eco-tourism, film, rural and religious tourism
  • Hotels with a project cost of USD 29.85 million or above are already included in the Harmonized Master List (HML) of Infrastructure. The MOF (Ministry of Finance) is constantly being pursued for inclusion of Hotels with project cost of USD 3.7 million to USD 29.85 million in the HML
  • The centrally funded scheme of Swadesh Darshan and Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) provide for introducing suitable Public Private Partnership (PPP) for improved sustainability of the projects. Viability Gap Funding may be provided under the schemes in accordance with the relevant guidelines/instructions of the Government
  • Tourism is a big employment generator – every USD 1 million invested in tourism creates 78 jobs
  • Tourism is the third largest foreign exchange earner after gems, jewellery and readymade garments
  • In 2015, Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism were USD 21.071 billion as compared to USD 20.236 billion in 2014, registering a growth of 4.1%
  • India registered 8.03 million FTAs in 2015, registering an annual growth of 4.5% over the previous year
  • The number of domestic tourist visits in India during 2014 was 1290.12 million as compared to 1142.53 million in 2013, recording a growth rate of 12.92%
  • FTAs (Provisional) from January to May 2016 were 3.64 million, an increase of 9.1% over the same period of previous year
  • FEEs (Provisional) from January to May 2016 were USD 9.58 billion, an increase of 14.4% over the same period of previous year
  • A growing recognition of tourisms contribution to employment and economic growth. The availability of better infrastructure, focused marketing and promotion efforts, liberalisation of air transport, the growth of online travel portals, growing intra-regional cooperation and more effective Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) are seen as key drivers for tourism in the next decade
  • More than half of the Ministry of Tourisms Plan budget is channelised for funding the development of destinations, circuits, mega projects as well as rural tourism infrastructure projects
  • There is a renewed focus on skill development in the travel and tourism sector – 21 government-run hotel management and catering technology institutes and 10 food craft institutes have been established to impart specialised training in hoteliering and catering
  • Commencing from 27th November 2014 e-Tourist Visa facility has been made available for citizens of 150 countries arriving at 16 airports in India as on date. During 2015, a total number of 4,45,300 Visas on Arrival were issued as compared to 39,046 Visas on Arrival during 2014, which amounts to a growth of 1040.4%
  • The Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) was renamed as Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) on 15th April, 2015. Currently the ETA facility is available for 150 countries. This is expected to have a significant positive impact on foreign tourist arrivals in India
  • Recently, the Indian government has also released a fresh category of visa - the medical visa or M visa, to encourage medical tourism in India. Short term medical visa under existing E-Tourist scheme is included
  • 100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route in tourism and hospitality, subject to applicable regulations and laws.
  • 100% FDI allowed in tourism construction projects, including the development of hotels, resorts and recreational facilities.

Ministry of Tourism channelized more than 50% of its budget for funding.

National Tourism Policy, 2002:

  • Its vision is to enhance employment potential within the tourism sector as well as to foster economic integration through developing linkages with other sectors; policy objectives include positioning the tourism sector as a major engine of economic growth, positioning India as a global brand, acknowledging the critical role of private sector and creating integrated tourism circuits.
  • A draft New Tourism Policy that has currently been formulated seeks to take forward the National Tourism Policy 2002, taking into account the widespread, interrelated global developments and advancements, which have had a strong bearing on the Tourism sector

Other Important Policies:

  • Guidelines for assistance to central agencies in tourism infrastructure development, scheme for assistance for large revenue generating projects, scheme for PPP in infrastructure development, guidelines for approval of convention centres, motel projects, timeshare resorts, guesthouses etc

Key Provisions of budget:

  • To develop and enhance tourist infrastructure a provision of USD 108.67 million is made for developing Swadesh Darshan (13 Theme based Tourist circuits) and USD 15.38 million for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) for Beautification of Pilgrimage Centres. States have been given greater flexibility in development of Tourist infrastructure as per local requirement from their enhanced resources
  • Services provided by Indian tour operators to foreign tourists in relation to tours wholly conducted outside India are being exempted from levy of service tax
  • Resources to be provided to start work along landscape restoration, signage and interpretation centres, parking, access for the differently abled, visitors amenities, including securities and toilets, illumination and plans for benefiting communities around them at various heritage sites which include Churches & Convents of Old Goa, Hampi, Karnataka, Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Kumbalgarh and other hill forts of Rajasthan, Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat, Leh Palace, Ladakh, J&K, Varanasi Temple town, UP, Jalianwala bagh, Amritsar, Punjab and Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • The e-Tourist Visa facility has now been increased for travelers of 150 countries

Tax Incentives:

  • An investment-linked deduction under Section 35 AD of the Income Tax Act is in place for establishing new hotels in the 2-star category and above across India, thus permitting a 100% deduction in respect of the whole or any expenditure of a capital nature excluding land, goodwill and financial instruments incurred during the year

State Incentives:

  • Incentives offered by state governments include subsidised land cost, relaxation in stamp duty, exemption on sale/lease of land, power tariff incentives, concessional rate of interest on loans, investment subsidies/tax incentives, backward areas subsidies and special incentive packages for mega projects
  • Incentives are provided for setting up projects in special areas – the North-east, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

Incentives from the Ministry of Tourism:

  • Assistance in large revenue-generating projects
  • Support to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure development such as viability gap funding
  • Schemes for capacity-building of service providers


  • The presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals make India a preferred destination for medical tourism
  • As an opportunity for cruise owners and operators by capturing/capitalizing the opportunity from a vast beautiful coast line, vast forest and undisturbed idyllic islands.
  • Rural tourism schemes have been implemented by the Ministry of Tourism in 2002-03 with the objective of highlighting rural life, art, culture and heritage in villages that have a core competence in art, craft, handloom, textiles and the natural environment. Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Ministry of Tourism identified Rural & Coastal Circuits as one of the thematic circuit for development.
  • Eco-tourism is at a nascent stage, but there are conscious efforts to save the fragile Himalayan eco-system and the culture and heritage of indigenous people.
  • Tourism sector in India offers opportunities across various sub-segments such as timeshare resorts, convention centres, motels, heritage hotels and the like.
  • Investment opportunities in the setting up of tour operations and travel agencies cater to burgeoning tourist inflow.
  • Accor (France)
  • The Four Seasons Group (Canada)
  • Thomas Cook (UK)
  • Marriott Hotels (USA)
  • Expedia (USA)
  • Premier Travel Inn (UK)
  • Cox & Kings (UK)
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation (USA)
  • Swadesh Darshan launched -13 theme tourist circuits identified, 5 pan- India mega circuits identified, 56 projects worth INR 4823.91 crore underway
  • PRASAD launched - 25 cities identified, 18 projects worth INR 488.45 crore underway
  • 12 Institutes of Hospitality Management has been sanctioned for North East, 4 institutes operationalized; Indian Culinary Institute setup at Tirupati
  • 1.85 lakh people trained under ‘Hunar se Rozgar Tak’ scheme
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