SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS: TOURISM
- India’s rank in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) of the World Economic Forum has moved from 65th rank in 2013 to 34th rank in 2019. 1
- India received the award of excellence at the New York Times Travel Show 2019. India was also honored during the closing bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange. 2
- The Incredible India "Find the Incredible You" campaign, launched by the Ministry of Tourism during the year 2018-19, was declared the winner of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award 2019 in the “Marketing - Primary Government Destination” category. 3
2 FOREIGN 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 year 2019 were 10.89 mn as compared to 10.56 mn in the year 2018 registering a growth of 3.2%. The foreign exchange earnings of the Tourism industry in India added up to INR 2.1 lakh cr during the period Jan 2019 to Dec 2019 registering a growth of 8.3% over the same period in 2018.
- Electronic-visa (e-visa) continues to be a game-changer for the Tourism industry. As of 2019, the e-visa facility is available for nationals of 169 countries under the following five subcategories:
- e-Tourist visa
- e-Business visa
- e-Medical visa
- e-Medical Attendant visa
- e-Conference visa
- It is valid for entry through and 5 designated seaports and 28 designated airports. The e-visa regime in the country has been amended and made tourist-friendly. The progress can be seen on the number of foreign tourists arriving on e-Tourist Visa which stood at 2.93 mn during 2019 registering a growth of 23.6%.
4 GOVERNMENT 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 theme-based tourist circuits with high tourist value, competitiveness, and sustainability via Swadesh Darshan scheme. Under the scheme, 77 projects worth INR 6035.70 cr have been sanctioned by the Tourism Ministry.
- Under the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project, the Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 iconic sites in the country for holistic development with respect to tourism.
- The Ministry of Tourism has launched the ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ project, a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India, and State/ UTs Government for developing tourism amenities at heritage/ natural/ tourist sites across India for making them tourist friendly. So far, 26 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) have been awarded to 12 Monument Mitras for twenty-four sites and two Technological interventions across India under the project.
- National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) The scheme aims to develop basic infrastructure to support tourism and improve convenience. Under the scheme, 51 religious’ sites in 25 States have been identified for development and 28 projects worth INR 840.02 cr have been sanctioned by the Tourism Ministry.