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Travel & Tourism

Tourism is the world's largest industry, with annual revenue of approximately $500 billion. And it is growing fast, with airline arrivals expected to double by 2010. Domestic tourism is generally thought to be up to five times that of international arrivals. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) puts global revenue from tourism in 2003 at US $ 514.4 billion. Globally, tourism accounts for roughly 35 per cent of exports of services.

According to the preliminary data by UNWTO, an estimated 460 million international tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide in the first seven months of 2005. This represents an increase of some 25 million arrivals compared with the respective period of 2004, or a 5.9 per cent growth. It means that international tourism is not only on track to consolidate the bumper year it had in 2004 (+10.7 per cent), but it will also exceed the long-term average growth forecast of 4 per cent.

National Scenario

Indian tourism grew by 25% in volume (tourist arrivals) and 36% in value (in U.S. Dollars terms) in 2004-2005. The National Geographic Traveler has described India as “ Land of Mystery and Majesty” and Forbes says that “ India is now one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets.” According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism in India is estimated to grow at 8.8% ahead of China over the next 10 years.

Foreign tourist arrivals in India

Year

Arrival
(in million)

2001

2.54

2002

2.38

2003

2.73

2004

3.37

2005

2.97

(Till October)

India is now one of the world’s fastest growing markets – in both directions. Revenue from traveling to India is expected to reach U.S. $ 6 billion this year and to grow to U.S. $24 billion by 2015. Indians traveling abroad are expected to spend U.S. $25 billion this year and U.S. $63 billion by 2015.

Job creation: In India tourism is providing employment to over 25 million people and with proper planning, this figure could easily double in 10 years reaching 100 million mark in the next 15 to 20 years.

It is estimated that one out of every nine new jobs around the world will be a tourism related job and one new job will be created in every 2.4 seconds every day for the next several years.

Top 10 international markets for India during 2004

Country

No. of Arrivals

% share

U.S.A.

520531

15.5

U.K.

499997

14.8

Sri Lanka

129401

3.8

France

133445

4

Canada

134902

4

Germany

102112

3

Japan

98446

2.9

Malaysia

83963

2.5

Australia

80315

2.4

Italy

66197

2

Others

1518664

45.1

Total

3367980

100

A domestic aviation sector growing by more than 24 per cent that is increasing its footprint and making air travel more affordable and a bounty of hotels across premium and mid-segments are laying the pitch to sustain the present resurgence in numbers.

Strong government support

The strong support provided by the government played an important role in boosting tourist arrivals. In particular, the “Incredible India” publicity campaign implemented by the government during 2002-2004 proved successful in attracting tourists by highlighting the diverse attractions of India. There was also a major improvement in the tourist infrastructure through both private and government initiatives.

Bright prospects

The Tenth 5-year plan (2002-2007) of the government treats tourism as a major engine of economic growth and employment generation. Under the Plan, total resources of Rs. 29 billion were allocated towards tourism. Given the strong emphasis of the government on the promotion of tourism and improvement of the tourist infrastructure and the vast untapped potential of India as a destination, there is little doubt that future prospects for Indian tourism are bright.
 
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