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Chapter # 10. Travel, Tourism and Hospitality


  • Increase India’s share in global international tourist arrivals from 1.18 per cent to 3 per cent.
  • Increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals from 8.8 million to 12 million.
  • Double the number of domestic tourist visits, from 1,614 million in 2016 to 3,200 million visits.

Current Situation

There has been significant progress in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector in the last decade but there is much further room for improvement. India moved up 12 places from 52nd to 40th in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index in 2017.

Foreign tourist arrivals have increased from 5.1 million in 2009 to 8.8 million in 2016; yet they account for less than 1 per cent of global tourist arrivals. With 35 world heritage sites, 10 bio-geographical zones and 26 biotic provinces, India has significant potential to increase the number of tourist arrivals.

The sector is an important contributor to national income. In 2017-18, India’s travel and tourism sector accounted for foreign exchange earnings of USD 22.92 billion. Hotels and tourism also accounted for USD 0.9 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2016-17, making up around 3 per cent of total FDI between April 2000 and October 2017.1 Domestic tourism plays a key role within the sector. In 2016, domestic tourist visits to all Indian states and union territories numbered 1614 million, an increase of about 13 per cent from the previous year.

As a highly labour-intensive sector, tourism has the capacity to generate large-scale, good quality employment. In 2016, it accounted for 25 million direct and more than 14 million indirect jobs. Direct jobs in the sector made up 5.8 per cent of India’s total employment. Together, direct and indirect jobs accounted for 9.3 per cent of total employment. The sector has multiple forward and backward linkages with further job generating potential in sectors such as agriculture, retail, transport and financial services.

Recognizing the sector’s potential to generate income and employment, the government has undertaken several measures to strengthen infrastructure and facilitate tourism. India recently introduced tourist visa on arrival, enabled with electronic travel authorization (ETA) (renamed as the “e-Tourist Visa”) for tourists from 150 countries.2 The Ministry of Tourism has launched a round-the-clock, toll-free tourist helpline in 12 international languages. The government has launched several schemes to develop tourist circuits; develop our islands as tourist destinations; build large-scale convention centres in different cities; improve connectivity and develop niche offerings such as medical tourism and pilgrimage-based tourism.


  • Entry/exit: Despite the introduction of an e-visa facility, visitors find the process of applying for a visa still cumbersome. Further, awareness about the e-visa facility remains low. In addition, medical e-visa holders face difficulties because of the limited number of repeat visits allowed under the visa, the number of accompanying persons permitted and cumbersome registration processes.
  • Infrastructure and connectivity: Deficiencies in infrastructure and inadequate connectivity hamper tourist visits to some heritage sites.
  • Tourism segments or circuits: India has various tourist destinations but few circuits or segments such as the Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur).
  • Promotion and marketing: Although it has been increasing, online marketing/branding remains limited and campaigns are not coordinated. Tourist information centres are poorly managed, making it difficult for domestic and foreign tourists to access information with ease.
  • Skills: The number of adequately trained indi-viduals for the tourism and hospitality sector is a key challenge to giving visitors a world-class experience. A limited number of multi-lingual trained guides, and the limited local awareness and understanding of the benefits and respon-sibilities associated with tourist growth act as constraints on the sector’s growth.

Way Forward

  1. Entry/exit for tourism
  • Increase e-visa awareness globally by launching an information campaign through our consulates abroad. It is also necessary to launch an e-visa regime to attract clientele from the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market. To attract repeat visitors, the validity period of e-visas may be increased to 10 years.
  • Enhance the number of annual visits allowed under an e-medical visa. Currently, e-medical visa holders are allowed three repeat visits during their one-year visa period. This may not be sufficient for patients who require follow-up/ post-operative care.
  • Simplify the process of registering online with the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO). Establishing FRRO help-desks at major Indian airports and hospi-tals will provide visitors with the informa-tion to complete the process online.
  • Increase the number of accompanying persons with e-medical visa holders from two to up to four under the same visa, as has been done in countries like Malaysia.
  1. Infrastructure and connectivity  
  • Tourism infrastructure projects, viz., hotels, resorts, equipment, parks etc., having a project cost more than INR 1 crore should be notified as ‘infrastructure’ to enable promoters to avail loans on a priority basis.
  • Conservation and development of all heritage sites should be undertaken and completed through either government funding or through NGOs/Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. The Ministry of Tourism’sSwadesh Darshan and National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) schemes are already undertaking the development or maintenance of heritage sites.3,4 The number of projects sanctioned under this scheme should be increased and their implementation accelerated.
  • Increase domestic tourist traffic by upgrading existing infrastructure and leasing out the main-tenance of such infrastructure to private players. New destinations can be developed around the metros using the PPP model.
  • Improve flight connectivity to tourist destina-tions through the timely implementation of the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN (RCS-UDAN). Larger cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai should be converted into efficient and seamless transit hubs.
  1. Building tourist circuits or segments
  • Develop the marine leisure industry by issuing national boating guidelines to regulate the industry in terms of safety, security, marina development, nautical infrastructure for safe access to water, cruising and charters, crewing (skill training), rescue and rationalization of import duties and local taxes to encourage the growth of local boat building. This segment will also help attract additional FDI into the sector.
  • Promote river cruise tourism by making the entire stretch of National Waterway No. 1, the River Ganga, from Allahabad to the Farakkah Barrage, fully navigable.
  • Build deep-water marinas in the coastal areas of India including in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and in Mumbai. Create enabling policies that permit scuba diving or other activities requiring boat travel.
  • Promote India’s Buddhist circuit by increas-ing coordination among all stakeholders and improving connectivity. Tourism to the Buddhist circuit can be greatly enhanced by increasing promotion, building wayside amenities and connecting lesser-known sites to core circuits. We should also fully utilize the Swadesh Darshan and existing schemes to promote this circuit.
  • Develop 100 “Smart Tourist Destination Sites” showcasing theme-based museums and heri-tage sites.
  • Develop 100 “Model Swachh Tourist Destina-tions” by undertaking a special clean-up initia-tive focused on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country.
  • Develop at least five “Beach Destinations” as exclusive tourism zones.
  • Develop at least five “World Class Museums” drawing from world class museums such as Bilbao or the Asian Civilization Museum in Singapore. Further, ease the process of accepting gifts by museums in India.
  • Plan and develop five globally competitive and world-class national circuits from entry to exit.
  1. Skill development
  • Connect local communities to tourism by en-couraging them to set up small enterprises to supply the tourism industry (accommodation, food and material). Employment opportunities can be expanded by ensuring that investors and operators in the organized sector are encour-aged to hire staff locally.
  • Local craftspersons, masons, carpenters and labourers should be engaged for heritage conser-vation and restoration activities to create jobs.
  • Create a database of artisans based on the dif-ferent craft forms they are associated with and the areas where they live.
  • Upgrade the skills of existing workers such as taxi drivers, boat operators, guides, and restau-rant and dhaba workers through state tourism departments in association with local tourism and hospitality institutes and industry.
  • Expertise available with heritage hotels may also be used for skill development in the sector.
  • Language competencies of tour guides should be improved through a bridge course conducted by the sector council all across the country.
  • Support private sector institutes in tourism regulated by government to create the required talent pool. This can be done by expanding the number of private sector institutes or bodies recognized as implementing agencies for delivering the Ministry of Tourism’s Hunar Se Rozgar Tak initiative to create employable skills.
  • Create Centres of Excellence for leadership in the tourism sector as a fulcrum of professional education, research and advocacy to create managers and entrepreneurs in tourism.
  • Additionally, ensure that tourism management and leadership is included as a distinct course in top management institutes in India.
  • Enable access to markets for traditional handicrafts producers by linking them with global markets. The government should also encourage the export of tribal handicrafts.
  1. Promotion and marketing, especially with respect to cultural sites
  • Launch targeted promotional campaigns in Asian countries such as China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, using digital media including TV advertisements.
  • Design policies using data on consumer usage to target marketing efforts and segments of the population.
  • Reconsider differential pricing for heritage sites as the higher ticket price for non-Indians leads to losing out on a large segment of youth travellers.
  • Consider establishing cultural centres in additional countries to spread Indian culture worldwide.
  • Create an online portal of all heritage sites to increase awareness regarding these.
  • Ticketing and access to monuments and museums.
  • An online ticket distribution system for heritage sites and wild life areas should be developed with time slots to visit.
  • Buying tickets at reception centres should be streamlined to avoid long queues.
  • Create common passes to visit multiple heritage sites.
  • Provide foreign exchange counters at each tourist site.
  • Tourist information centres should be operated by trained personnel and must have resources like maps, travel guides, etc.


Chapter # 41. Data Led Governance and Policy Making

Objectives Evidence based policy making should be made integral to the overall governance structure in New India, 2022-23. To achieve this, timely gen

Chapter # 40. Optimizing the Use of Land Resources

Optimizing the Use of Land Resources-Ensuring that land markets function smoothly, through efficient allocation of land across uses, provision of secu

Chapter # 39. Modernizing City Governance For Urban Transformation

Objective  City Governance For Urban Transformation To transform our cities into economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable habitats that p

Chapter # 38. Civil Services Reforms

Objective  civil-services-reforms To put in place a reformed system of recruitment, training and performance evaluation of the civil service to ensur

Chapter # 37. Legal, Judicial and Police Reforms

Objective To ensure the safety and security of citizens and ensure access to effective legal systems and speedy delivery of justice. Current Situation

Chapter # 36. The North-East Region

Objectives The North-East Region (NER) should: Have adequate road, rail and air connectivity, waterways, internet connectivity and financial inclusion

Chapter # 35. Balanced Regional Development: Transforming Aspirational Districts

Objective  Balanced Regional Development: Transforming Aspirational Districts Achieve balanced development in India by uplifting 115 districts, curre

Chapter # 34. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Other Tribal Groups and Minorities

SCs, STs, OBCs, De-Notified Tribes (DNTs), Nomadic Tribes (NTs) and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (SNTs) Objective  To accelerate the socio-economic developm

Chapter # 33. Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability and Transgender Persons

SENIOR CITIZENS  Objective To ensure a life of dignity, social security and safety for senior citizens, enabling them to actively participate in econ

Chapter # 32. Gender

Objective  To create an enabling environment, sans institutional and structural barriers. To enhance the female labour force participation rate to at

Chapter # 31. Nutrition

Objectives  Under POSHAN Abhiyaan, achieve the following outcomes by 2022-23, compared to the baseline of 2015-16 (National Family Health Survey-4):

Chapter # 30. Universal Health Coverage

Objectives  On the strong platform of Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY): Attain a coverage of at least 75 per cent of the population

Chapter # 29. Human Resources for Health

Objectives  Achieve a doctor-population ratio of at least 1:1400 (WHO norm 1:1000) and nurse-population ratio of at least 1:500 (WHO norm 1:400) by 2

Chapter # 28. Comprehensive Primary Health Care

Objectives  Under Ayushman Bharat, scale-up a new vision for comprehensive primary health care across the country, built on the platform of health an

Chapter # 27. Public Health Management and Action

Objectives  To revamp radically the public and preventive health system in the nation through the following strategic interventions: Mobilize public

Chapter # 26. Skill Development

Obejctives  For harnessing the demographic advantage that it enjoys, India needs to build the capacity and infrastructure for skilling/reskilling/up-

Chapter # 25. Teacher Education and Training

Objectives There cannot be a quality education system without quality teachers. Therefore, a thorough revamp of the entire ecosystem of teacher educat

Chapter # 24. Higher Education

Objectives  Increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from 25 per cent in 2016-17 to 35 per cent by 2022-23. Make higher education

23. School Education

Objectives Universal access and retention: o Hundred per cent enrolment and retention at elementary education and secondary education levels; achieve

Chapter # 22. Sustainable Environment

Objective  The objective is to maintain a clean, green and healthy environment with peoples’ participation to support higher and inclusive economic

Chapter # 21. Water Resources

Objectives By 2022-23, India’s water resources management strategy should facilitate water security to ensure adequate availability of water for l

Chapter # 20. Swash Bharat Mission

Objectives The key objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission include: 1. Making India Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019. 2. Carrying out ext

Chapter # 19.Smart Cities for Urban Transformation

Objectives  Leverage the ‘Smart Cities’ concept in select urban clusters to: Drive job creation and economic growth. Significantly improve effici

Chapter # 18. Digital Connectivity

Objectives Given the relevance of digital connectivity to economic growth and the need to eliminate the digital divide by 2022-23, India should aim to

Chapter # 17. Logistics

Objectives Achieve multi-modal movement of cargo on par with global logistics standards. Reduce the logistics cost to less than 10 per cent of GDP fro

Chapter # 16.Ports, Shipping and Inland Waterways

Objectives  Double the share of freight transported by coastal shipping and inland waterways from 6 per cent in 2016-171 to 12 per cent by 2025. Incr

Chapter # 15. Civil Aviation

Objectives Enhance the affordability of flying to enable an increase in domestic ticket sales from 103.75 million in 2016-171 to 300 million by 2022.2

Chapter # 14. Railways

Objectives By 2022-23, India should have a rail network that is not only efficient, reliable and safe, but is also cost-effective and accessible, both

Chapter # 13. Surface Transport

Objectives Increasing the coverage and quality of roads and highways is critical to enhancing connectivity and internal and external trade. By 2022-23

Chapter # 12. Energy

Objectives The government’s on-going energy sector policies aim “to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy”. At t

Chapter # 11. Minerals

Objectives Double the area explored from 10 per cent of obvious geological potential (OGP) area to 20 per cent.1 Accelerate the growth of the mining s

Chapter # 10. Travel, Tourism and Hospitality

Objectives  Increase India’s share in global international tourist arrivals from 1.18 per cent to 3 per cent. Increase the number of foreign touris

Chapter # 9. Housing For All

Objectives Provide every family with a pucca house, with a water connection, toilet facilities, and 24×7 electricity supply and access. Build 2.9

Chapter # 8. Financial Inclusion

Objectives Banking for the unbanked  o Bank accounts: Ensuring universal access to bank accounts, which are a gateway to all financial services.  o

Chapter # 7.Doubling Farmers’ Income (III): Value Chain & Rural Infrastructure

Objectives • Transform the rural economy through the creation of modern rural infrastructure and an integrated value chain system. • Leverage the

Chapter # 6.Doubling Farmers’ Income (II): Policy & Governance

Objectives Create a policy environment that enables income security for farmers, whilst maintaining India’s food security. Encourage the participati

Chapter # 5.Doubling Farmers’ Income (I): Modernizing Agriculture

Objectives • Modernize agricultural technology, increase productivity, efficiency and crop diversification. • Generate income and employment throu

Chapter # 4.Industry

Objectives Double the current growth rate of the manufac-turing sector by 2022. Promote in a planned manner the adoption of the latest technology adva

Chapter # 3. Technology and Innovation

Objectives India should be among the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index by 2022-23.1 Five of our scientific research institutions should

Chapter # 2.Employment and Labour Reforms

Objectives Complete codification of central labour laws into four codes by 2019. Increase female labour force participation to at least 30 per cent by

Chapter # 1 Growth (India @ 75)

Objectives Steadily accelerate the gross domestic product(GDP) growth rate to achieve a target of about 8 per cent during 2018-23 This will raise the


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