Tourism industry in India is on a great boom at the moment. India has tremendous potential to become a major global tourist destination and Indian tourism industry is exploiting this potential to the hilt. Travel and tourism industry is the second highest foreign exchange earner for India, and the government has given travel & tourism organizations export house status.
The buoyancy in the Indian tourism industry can be attributed to
several factors. Firstly, the tremendous growth of Indian economy has
resulted in more disposable income in the hands of middle class, thereby
prompting increasingly large number of people to spend money on
vacations abroad or at home. Secondly, India is a booming IT hub and
more and more people are coming to India on business trips. Thirdly,
aggressive advertising campaign "Incredible India" by Tourism
Ministry has played a major role in changing the image of India from
that of the land of snake charmers to a hot and happening place and has
sparked renewed interest among foreign travelers.
Travel & tourism industry's contribution to Indian industry is
immense. Tourism is one of the main foreign exchange earners and
contributes to the economy indirectly through its linkages with other
sectors like horticulture, agriculture, poultry, handicrafts and
construction. Tourism industry also provides employment to millions of
people in India both directly and indirectly through its linkage with
other sectors of the economy. According to an estimate total direct
employment in the tourism sector is around 20 million.
Travel & tourism industry in India is marked by considerable
government presence. Each state has a tourism corporation, which runs a
chain of hotels/ rest houses and operates package tours, while the
central government runs the India Tourism Development Corporation.
In the year 2002, the Government of India announced a New Tourism
Policy to give boost to the tourism sector. The policy is built around
the 7-S Mantra of Swaagat (welcome), Soochanaa (information), Suvidhaa
(facilitation), Surakshaa (security), Sahyog (cooperation), Sanrachnaa
(infrastructure) and Safaai (cleanliness).
Some of the salient features of the Tourism Policy are: