Tourism Industry in India

Tourism in India

India is a huge market for global tourism opportunities. It presents a bouquet of opportunities in different diverse tourism initiatives such as  – cruises, journey, scientific, health, sports activities, mice, eco-tourism, film, rural and spiritual tourism. India has been identified as a destination for spiritual tourism for domestic and worldwide travellers. In his independence speech from the red fort, Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi urged people to visit at least 15 domestic destinations in India by 2022 to boost domestic tourism. India ranked 34 inside the journey & tourism competitiveness document 2019 posted by the world economic forum.

In WTTC’s financial impact 2019 statement, India’s travel & tourism GDP contribution grew by 4.9%, which was the third-highest after China and the Philippines. Moreover, the report additionally highlights that between 2014-2019, India witnessed the strongest increase in the number of jobs created (6.36 million), followed by China (5.47 million) and the Philippines (2.53 million).

Overall contribution by travel and tourism area to India’s GDP is expected to increase from rs. 15.24 lakh crore (us$ 234.03 billion) in 2017 to rs. 32.05 lakh crore (us$ 492.21 billion) in 2028. general incomes from the sector in India is centred to reach US$ 50 billion by  2022.

in FY20, 39 million jobs were created in the tourism quarter in India; this accounted for 8.0% of the total employment inside the country. International travellers arrival is anticipated to reach 30.five billion by 2028. e-visa facility was presented to 169 nations as of December 2019.

In 2019, overseas vacationer arrivals (FTAs) in India stood at 10.89 million, attaining a boom rate of 3.20% YOY. During 2019, FEEs from tourism multiplied 4.8% YOY to rs. 1,94,881 crore (us$ 29.96 billion). In 2019, arrivals thru e-tourist visa accelerated via 23.6% YOY to 2.9 million.

Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, 77 initiatives had been sanctioned worth rs. 6,035.70 crore (us$ 863.60 million). in union budget  2020-21, the government has allotted Rs. 1200 crores (us$ 171.70 million) for the improvement of tourist circuits below Swadesh darshan for the northeast.

The launch of several branding, advertising and marketing initiatives by the authorities of India which includes ‘exquisite India!’ and ‘Athithi Devo bhava’ has furnished a targeted impetus to increase. the Indian government has additionally released a fresh category of visa – the clinical visa or m-visa, to encourage scientific tourism within the USA. the government is operating to achieve a 1% share in the world’s worldwide traveller arrivals by  2020 and to 2% proportion by 2025.

Amid the relaxation provided by the government after the covid lockdown, the Indian association of tour operators (IATO) has advised the authorities to finalise a roadmap for the resumption of international flights and facilitate e-visas and traveller visas.

Eventually, in November end, India delivered a graded relaxation of its visa and journey restrictions for greater categories of overseas nationals and Indian nationals.

After the pandemic crisis, the authorities plan to tap into regional tourism through commencing doors for south Asian country tourists.

The government is also making serious efforts to reinforce investment in the tourism region. Within the hotel and tourism sector, one hundred% FDI (overseas direct investment) is permitted thru the automatic path. a 5-year tax holiday has been provided for 2-, three- and four-star category accommodations located around UNESCO global heritage sites (barring Delhi and Mumbai).

The government of India also announced to increase 17 iconic tourist sites in India into global-class destinations as in line with union finances 2019-20. Ministry of Tourism launched Dekho Apna Desh webinar in April 2020 to offer information on the various destinations and the sheer intensity and expanse of the way of life and historical past of amazing India. Until August 17, 2020, 48 webinars have been conducted underneath the series.

The ministry of tourism developed an initiative referred to as SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for Hospitality Industry) with the aid of partnering with the satisfactory council of India (QCI) in October 2020. the initiative will correctly put in force guidelines/sops issued concerning covid-19 for safe operations of hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and different units.

India Tourism-Advantages

Solid Demand

  • By 2020, the Medical tourism Industry of India is anticipated to touch us$ 9 billion.
  • During the period 2018- 2019, 10.89 million overseas travellers arrived in India.
  • International traveller arrivals are anticipated to reach 35 million by  2028.
  • Prime minister Narendra Modi Indians to visit at least 15 domestic tourist destinations by 2022.

Lucrative  Opportunities

  • India has a varied portfolio of niche tourism products – cruises, Adventure, Medical, Wellness, sports activities, mice, eco-tourism, movie,  rural & religious tourism.
  • Post the pandemic crisis, the government plans to tap into nearby tourism through commencing doorways for south Asian tourists.
  • Govt is providing subsidized loans to MSMEs to assist them to deal with the crisis and revive the economic system, including the tourism sector.

The versatility of the country

  • India presents geographical diversity, mesmerizing beaches, 30 global world heritage sites and 25 bio-geographic zones.
  • Big coastline dotted with some awesome breathtaking beaches like in Andamans 7 Lakshadweep.
  • Ministry of Tourism is promoting the Buddhist circuit to increase India’s share in the global tourism market.

Policy Support

  • a 5-12 months tax vacation has been offered for Two, Three and four-star category inns positioned around UNESCO global historical sites (except Delhi  & Mumbai).
  • Under the Swadesh darshan scheme, 15  thematic circuits within the united country have been selected for the development of tourism infrastructure.
  • e-vacationer visa facility provided to 169  nations as of December 2019.

The growth of the Indian Tourism & Hospitality Sector

Before the 1990s

  • The countrywide tourism policy was  announced in 1982
  • The authorities formulated a  comprehensive plan in 1988 to sell  tourism

During 1990-2000

  • Numerous states in India declared tourism as an industry.
  • The government put pressure on private-public partnership in the sector.
  • Government rules supply a fillip to the Hospitality sector.

During 2000-2005

  • National policy on Tourism was introduced in 2002 focussing on growing a robust Tourism infrastructure across the country.
  • online travel portals & low-cost airlines gave a boost to domestic tourism.

From 2015 onwards

  • The authorities have undertaken numerous advertising projects to attract tourists.
  • E-tourist visa was introduced; a total of 2.93 million  foreign travellers arrived using the e-tourist visa in 2019  registering an increase of 23.6%
  • travel and tourism quarter accounted for 8% of total  employment possibilities in 2019
  • in November 2018, India attained 3rd position within the global tourism quarter after China and the US.

India Tourism Segments

Stay & Catering

Accommodation can be lodges & hotels, apartments, camps, guest homes,  motel, bed & breakfast establishments, houseboats, hotels, cabins & hostels.Besides, vacationers additionally require catering facilities, which incorporates consist of inns,  local restaurants, roadside joints, cafeterias & stores serving meals &  drinks.


Transport involves airline agencies, cruise services, railways, automobile rentals & more. a  visitor’s choice of transport would depend on the journey budget, vacation spot, time,  reason of the excursion & convenience to the point of vacation spot.


Another predominant factor of the journey & tourism is ‘attractions or destinations’ such as theme parks & natural sights consisting of scenic locations, cultural & study tour locations, points of interest, monuments, events & scientific, social or professional causes.

Travel Companies

A fragmented zone with several independent travel retailers & many online groups. Besides they promote associated products which include insurance, automobile lease &  foreign exchange.

Business travel agencies specialise in making travel & lodging arrangements for business visitors & promoting trade shows.

Tour Operators

Tour companies offer customised excursions, which includes journey, accommodation & sightseeing trips.

Emerging Trends

Adventure Tourism

India is now providing a wide range of adventure sports activities in some fantastic destinations such as Goa, Kovalam, Manali, Andamans etc.

The activities encompass scuba diving, parasailing, paragliding, hiking, bungee  jumping, mountain biking, river  rafting & mountain climbing, etc

Read more about adventure tourism in India here

Adventure tourism offers a lot of job opportunities as well to youngsters with attractive starting salaries. Please read more about it here

Medical Tourism

India offers specialised medical remedies, in particular ayurvedic, spa &  different cures. The number one reason is reaching,  promoting or retaining properly fitness & a sense of nicely-being.

Heritage Tourism

Travellers visit India for its cultural history in various cities. The countries’ wealthy historical past is abundantly reflected inside the various temples, majestic forts, delight gardens, religious monuments, museums, art galleries, city  & rural web sites.

Rural Tourism

The intention is to increase attention in historical past and way of life; & sell visits to village settings to experience & live a secure & healthy lifestyle.

Pilgrimage Tourism

considered one of the biggest contributor to the Indian Tourism sector. India being a spiritual hub for exceptional cultures, attract many tourists each year.


A huge variety of flora & fauna found in various states is a major attraction for tourists. Thenmala in Kerala is one of the most prominent ecotourism vacation spots in India.

Luxury Tourism

The luxurious tourism market in India is predicted to grow at f 12.8% at some stage in 2015-25, the best in comparison with any BRIC country.

Contribution of Tourism to India’s GDP

India grew rank 34 in the Travel & Tourism competitiveness report 2019 posted by World Economic Forum and contributes nearly us$  247 billion to the country’s GDP. it is the third biggest forex earner for the country.

in WTTC’s financial impact 2019 report, India’s travel & tourism GDP contribution grew by 4.9%, which become the third-highest after China and the Philippines. additionally, the document also highlights that between 2014-2019, India witnessed the strongest increase inside the wide variety of jobs created  (6.36 million), observed through china (five.47 million) and the Philippines (253 million).

The tourism & hospitality quarter’s direct contribution to GDP is anticipated to attain Rs12.68 trillion (us$ 194.69 billion) in 2028. The federation of associations in Indian tourism and hospitality (religion) chairman Mr Nakul Anand, these days spoke at a convention on the India tourism vision day mentioning that Indian tourism is envisioned to make a contribution 9-10% to India’s GDP on a direct and indirect basis.

The arrival of Foreign Tourists

In 2019, foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India stood at 10.89  million, attaining an increase of 3.20% YOY.

The increase in traveller arrivals has been because of attractive government policies, evolved rail & avenue infrastructure, ease in availability of e- vacationer visa to overseas travellers. In 2019, arrivals thru e-vacationer visa expanded to 23.6% YOY to 2.9 million.

The authorities are working to reap a 1% percentage in the world’s global traveller arrivals by 2020 and a 2% share by  2025.

In 2020*, FTAs in India stood at 2.46 million.

The covid-19 pandemic has substantially disrupted the tourism industry.  considering this state of affairs, Mr Rajesh Magow, MakeMyTrip CEO has mentioned that for a black swan occasion like covid, the country needs to build and grow domestic tour as worldwide tourism will take time to recover.

Amid the relaxation supplied with the aid of the government, the Indian Affiliation of Tour Operators (IATO) has advised the authorities to finalise a roadmap for the resumption of international flights and facilitate e-visas and visitor visas.

In November India introduced a graded relaxation of its visa and journey restrictions for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals.

Domestic Tourism Growth

domestic travel revenue is predicted at us$ 215.38 billion in 2019 and is expected to further increase to us$ 405.8 billion by 2028.

Even as the pandemic brought the tourism industry to a halt, the government is intervening to revive domestic tourism.

In October 2020, Hon. Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi inaugurated 4 new travel destinations in Gujarat namely, Arogya van, Ekta mall,  kid’s nutrition park and Sardar Patel zoological park/ jungle safari, near the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya in Narmada district.

The initiative is part of 17 new planned initiatives to revive domestic tourism. Additionally, the authorities also started seaplane services from Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity to push Tourism.

Boosting Foreign Exchange

tourism is a vital source of foreign exchange in India similar to many other international locations.

Throughout 2019, India earned forex of $ 29.96 billion from tourism, recording a YOY increase of 4.8%. forex earnings from tourism in India witnessed an increase at a CAGR  of 8.96% during 2007-2019.

In 2020*, India earned us$ 6.15 billion in forex from tourism.

New Trends in Indian Tourism Industry

Online Tour operators

  • over 70% of air tickets are actually being booked online
  • Numerous online travel & excursion operators have emerged in India and are offering customized solutions to tourists.

Wellness Tourism/Staycation

  • the significant exercise of Ayurveda, yoga, Siddha and naturopathy complemented with the state’s religious philosophy makes India a famous health destination. Staycation is likewise visible as an emerging fashion where human beings stay at high priced accommodations to restore themselves of pressure in a peaceful getaway.

Cruise Tourism

  • The government of India has anticipated that India would emerge with a marketplace size of 1.2 million cruise visitors by  2030-31. The government is making plans to set up 5 cruise terminals within the country and grow cruise ships to 1,000.
  • zen cruises released its most reliable cruise line, jalesh, and began its cruise service in India in April 2019.
  • in November 2019, chipsan aviation added helicopter offerings from Willingdon island, cochin port.

Adventure Tourism

  • Adventure tourism is one of the most popular segments of the tourism industry. due to India’s great geographical diversity, it has improved properly over the years. furthermore, the authorities have acknowledged adventure tourism as a gap tourism product to draw vacationers with a unique hobby.
  • a part of India’s tourism policy, almost every state has an exact programme to discover & promote Adventure tourism.

Camping Sites

  • The promotion of camping sites has been advocated with adequate acknowledgement of its unfavourable outcomes on the environment.
  • Besides providing precise worthwhile experiences, accountable conduct of tenting may be a prime supply of monetary possibility in far off areas as well as a device of conservation.

Growth Divers for the Tourism Market


  • More than half of the ministry of tourism’s budget is channelised for investment in the development of locations, circuits, mega projects as well as rural tourism infrastructure projects.
  • The tourism ministry is currently developing several theme-based traveller circuits under the Swadesh  Darshan scheme to sell tourism.

Demand Growth

  • Domestic expenditure on tourism is predicted to upward thrust due to the growing earnings of households.
  • New areas of interest offerings along with medical tourism & eco-tourism are expected to create extra demand.
  • By 2029, India’s tourism area is anticipated to attain Rs 35 trillion (us$ 488 billion) with an increase of 6.7% and accounting for 9.2% of the total economy.

Growing FDI

  • The Hotel & Tourism sector received a cumulative FDI inflow of US$ 15.48 billion between April 2000 and June 2020.
  • International operators are focused on India.  Carlson institution presently has ninety-four operating accommodations and is planning to add approximately 30 extra properties by 2023.
  • hospitality majors are getting into tie-ups to penetrate deeper into the market. Taj & Shangri-la entered into a  strategic alliance to enhance their reach and market share percentage by way of launching loyalty programmes geared toward integrating rewarded clients of each property.

Policy Support

  • A web-based Public Service Delivery System  (PSDS) had been launched by the Ministry of  Tourism to enable all the applicants seeking approval for hotel projects and track their applications online on a real-time basis.
  • The Government will develop 17 iconic tourist sites in India into world-class destinations as conveyed in the Union Budget 2019-20.

Overall India Tourism is on the rise and let’s hope it attracts more and more local and international tourists with a clear strategy from the Government and tourism industry stakeholders to achieve greater heights. Indi has understood that the Tourism sector is changing at the international level and tourism is more of an experience now rather than just staycations.

Let’s create some everlasting memories for the tourists visiting India and to cherish them for their lifetime.

I have created this article by referring to many online contents and if you have any questions, please feel to write to me at You can check more info on Tourism Ministry website

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *