BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 17 SEPTEMBER
Union minister of culture tourism and development for North Eastern region , G.Kishan Reddy said that the central government will announce the new Tourism Policy of India within the next two months.
Mr. G.Kishan Reddy further added that the new comprehensive tourism policy has been currently discussed with the stakeholders including the state governments, travel and tourism agents and organisations, financial institutions, foreign tour operators to include their observations in the draft tourism policy for finalisation.
“We are discussing, we are taking inputs. I think within two months, before the Budget session (of Parliament), we are going to introduce the National Tourism Policy,” added Mr. G. Kishan Reddy.
Sources said that a mobile app for E-tourist visa, direct air-connectivity with major overseas markets, classification of tourist destinations into various categories, special tourism zones, creation of five missions are among the provisions stipulated in the draft new national policy to ensure sustainable, responsible and inclusive development of tourism in India.
The Narendra Modi government has big plans to make Incredible India, amongst the top five global destinations by 2030 and has been drafting the new tourism policy.
The central theme of the new tourism policy will be, ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. The Draft National Tourism Policy has been prepared by the Indian Government to focus on digital, and green tourism.
Earlier, three draft strategies with roadmaps for developing Rural Tourism, promotion of Medical and Wellness Tourism, and the Meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE) Industry were formulated by the Indian tourism ministry. In the next 10 years, the focus will be given to the areas of digital tourism, green tourism, skilling in the hospitality sector, destination management, and supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) related tourism.
· To enhance the contribution of tourism in the Indian economy by increasing visitation, stay and spend.
· To create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the tourism sector and ensure the supply of skilled workforce.
· To enhance the competitiveness of the tourism sector and attract private sector investment
· Main guiding principle of the policy is to promote sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism
· To ensure sustainable, responsible and inclusive development of tourism in the country
· To preserve and enhance the cultural and natural resources of the country.
The new tourism policy will ease the VISA regime and the processing and procedures will be further simplified.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India is ranked 10th among 185 countries in terms of travel and tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2019. During 2019, contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was 6.8% of the total economy, ~ Rs. 1,368,100 crore (US$ 194.30 billion). In 2020, the Indian tourism sector accounted for 39 million jobs, which was 8% of the total employment in the country.
By 2028, Indian tourism and hospitality is expected to earn US$ 50.9 billion as visitor exports compared with US$ 28.9 billion in 2018.
The travel market in India is projected to reach US$ 125 billion by FY27 from an estimated US$ 75 billion in FY20. The Indian airline travel market was estimated at ~US$ 20 billion and is projected to double in size by FY27 due to improving airport infrastructure and growing access to passports. The Indian hotel market including domestic, inbound and outbound was estimated at ~US$ 32 billion in FY20 and is expected to reach ~US$ 52 billion by FY27, driven by the surging demand from travelers and sustained efforts of travel agents to boost the market.
The foreign exchange earnings from 2016 to 2019 grew at a CAGR of 7% but dipped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.