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Tourism is the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more

than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity
remunerated from within the place visited.

Tourism is not the same as travel. Tourism can be measured by three different criteria’s

• It requires a displacement outside the known environment.


• The purpose for travel: The reason for travel must be any reason other than remuneration from the
place visited.
• Duration: The duration of stay can be a minimum of one day with or without an overnight stay, but there
is a cap on the maximum time period, usually it should not be more than a year.

Tourism in India
Tourism in India has seen exponential growth in the recent years. India is one of the most preferred destinations
for both overseas and domestic travelers. Tourism enables the international traveler to understand and
experience India's cultural diversity first hand. According to official estimates the Indian tourism industry has out
performed the global tourism industry in terms of growth in the volume of foreign tourists as well as in terms of
revenue.

The main reason for the growth in tourism in India is the tremendous progress made by the Indian economy.
Though it must be said that infrastructure is still a constraint. To sustain the current growth the government
should invest in infrastructure like transport, accommodation, better roads, health and hygiene etc. To propel
growth the industry has invested in new technology like CRM tools and state of the art security systems.

The various segments within tourism are:

Medical Tourism
It is one of the fastest growing segments in India. India has been able to leverage on certain advantages it has
over other countries like highly skilled doctors, cost effective treatment, improved quality of private healthcare etc.
Some of the common treatments for which overseas patients to come to India are heart surgery, knee transplant,
cosmetic surgery and dental care. India's traditional rejuvenation therapy like yoga and ayurvedic therapy are
also becoming popular.

Eco Tourism
It is relatively new segment in India. It involves visiting natural areas without disturbing the fragile ecosystem. Eco
tourism generates wealth for the local people, who in turn take measures to conserve and protect the
environment and natural resources. India with its natural diversity is one of the pristine places in the world for eco
tourism. The Himalayan region, Kerala, Northeast, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep islands the
Western and Eastern Ghats are some of the hot spots for eco tourism in India. India has some of the best wildlife
reserves in the world, rich in flora and fauna.

Heritage Tourism
Heritage tourism is a very lucrative segment in India. It is widely believed it would emerge as the most important
segment within tourism in terms of revenue generation by 2010.India has a rich cultural history and reflection of
its glorious past is still visible in its numerous forts, monuments, palaces, places of worship etc. Heritage tourism
itself can be further classified as colonial heritage, urban renewal, religious tourism, industrial heritage and
ethnicity. The Indian government must show keen interest in preserving the heritage sites from a tourism
perspective.

Adventure Tourism
India's varied geographical and climatic conditions offer excellent opportunity for adventure sports. In recent
times the popularity of adventure tourism has increased. Adventure sports like river rafting, rock climbing,
mountaineering, trekking, skiing, snow climbing, scuba diving and angling can be undertaken in the country and
the country offers multiple locations to choose from. The trans Himalayan region, the Garhwal and Kumaon
mountains, the Western Ghats, deserts of Rajasthan, Andaman and Lakshadweep islands are some of the most
popular destination for adventure tourism.
Future trends

• The real GDP growth for travel and tourism economy is expected to be 0.2 per cent in 2009 and is
expected to grow at an average of 7.7 per cent per annum in the coming decade.
• Earning through exports from international visitors and tourism goods are expected to generate 6.0 per
cent of total exports (nearly $16.9 billion) in 2009 and expected to increase to US$ 51.4 billion in 2019.
• According to the Ministry of Tourism, Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) for the period from January to
March in 2009 was 1.461 million. For the month of March 2009 the FTAs was 472000.The reason for the decline
is attributed to the ongoing economic crisis.
• In spite of the short term and medium term impediment due to the global meltdown the revenues from
tourism is expected to increase by 42 per cent from 2007 to 2017.

Delivering Excellence: Tourism Industry in Perspective


Nisha Karunakaran
IInd Year, PGDM
Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship (XIME), Bangalore

Introduction
The contribution of tourism and trade industry towards a nation’s economy is
manifold. It not only makes its impact on the economic growth of the country, in
terms of revenue generation and employment opportunities, but also in terms of
the cultural enhancement of the nation and its people.
What differentiates one country from another is the kind of service that is offered
to the visiting population; and also the customer-centric approach of the
government and the natives to the influx of tourists to their country. The paper
analyzes the position of India in terms of the various yardsticks that define any
great tourist destination across the globe.
The paper is singularly India focused analysis of the potential way forward for the
native travel and tourism industry. It critically examines the current scenario of the
Indian tourism industry with its pitfalls and then strategizes for the future.
Importance of Tourism Industry
A strong travel and tourism network system spanning the entire nation has the
potential to pull off a multiplier effect on the economic growth of the country. It
necessitates employment opportunities in direct interfaces of tourism such as
hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and related services. The industry is
fundamentally responsible for diversifying the economic activities in the country
and opening up new means of trade and commerce.
Corporate travel is the new buzzword and any amount of investment into the
existing businesses and creation of new business will only favour the local economy
in terms of increased trade through exports and internal job creation.
However, the biggest gainer in terms of travel and tourism industry is the mutual
exchange of culture and ideas and most importantly, the way of life. A keen
knowledge of another culture throws open a wide variety of prospects in terms of
not only commerce, but also perspectives and practices of a group of people that is
worthy of emulation by the visiting nationals. Besides, the natives incorporate
foreign nuances into the ethos of the local culture.
The paper analyzes the performance and possible areas of improvement for the
Indian tourism industry. It would objectively looks at a) domestic tourism b)
international tourism c) medical tourism d) corporate travel. A nation’s ability to
provide a standardized tourist experience will reflect its ability to provide
professional services to the visiting population.
Indian Tourism Industry – A Snapshot

India was ranked as the 42nd most desired tourist destination by the United Nations
World Trade Organization {UNWTO} in the year 2007. The same report mentions
India as the 6th best in terms of price competiveness and 39th in terms of safety and
security.
The global tourism industry is expected to touch $7.2 trillion in the next two years
in economic activities, together with a generation of 260 million jobs across the
world. India is expected to command 1.5% of this mammoth figure by 2011. It has
also been observed that although corporate travel has taken a hit, the tourism
industry has not suffered heavily because domestic travel and medical tourism have
been as buoyant as before.
Currently, tourism and travel contribute about 6% of the Gross Domestic Product of
our country, while in the world the industry contributes an average of 10.2 % of the
GDP. International tourism contributes 6% to the total exports of the nation, and
6.4 % of the total employed force of India belongs to tourism and related services.
It is expected to jump to 7.2% in a decade’s time.
India Tourism Industry Forecast 2007-2011 reports some interesting facts about the
nation’s travel and tourism perspective. Some of the key findings are as follows:
 In India, inbound tourist expenditure per head is the third highest in the
world and even more than the global average tourist spending.
 India has been promoting its healthcare tourism by providing the visitors
with private healthcare facilities. It is expected that the number of tourists
visiting India for the purpose of medical treatment will reach one million by
2012, representing a CAGR of 28.09% from 2007.
 Indian outbound tourist flow is expected to increase at a CAGR of 12.79%
over the five-year period spanning 2007-2011.
 Tourist influx to India is expected to increase at a CAGR of 22.65% between
2007and2011.
 India’s share in global tourism is expected to reach 1.5% by 2010.

There are several fear factors that inhibit tourism to a country. Some of those
that could be potential threats to Indian tourism could be as follows:
A) Political instability: although the UPA government has come back to power,
Indian politics has a long way to go before they stabilize into real
governance and professionalization of politics.
B) Shock factors: Terrorist activities could be a major deterrent to tourism in
any country. The 26/11 attacks in Mumbai targeted the foreign tourists who
were residing in premium hotels such as The Grand Oberoi and the Taj Mahal
Hotel. The fear factor could seriously create a dent in the image of the
nation.
C) Corporate infrastructure: Considering that corporate travel is an indirect
effect of general tourism and factors that are beyond immediate influence,
it is imperative that India builds on an infrastructure that would facilitate
corporate travel.<!--[endif]-->
Strategies for Success
Five strategies that should propel India’s tourism industry in to the limelight are:
1. Segregated Tourism: Although an emphasis can be made on the pan-India
initiative, segregation of tourist types could be done in order to attract
differentiated tourist base. India should concentrate on the following areas with
specific advertising and promotion:
A) Medical tourism: although it has been touted as the next big thing for tourism, it
has had a lacklustre performance so far. Even within medical tourism,
orthopaedic-, neurological-, cancer- and cardio-treatment could be dealt with and
promoted separately. This will also depend very heavily on the available
infrastructure for stay; as well as the medical facilities available. Yoga could be
promoted extensively. There could be two aspects to this. One, for the ailments
and their treatments and the second, for rejuvenation-centric tourism.
B) Adventure tourism: To showcase the cascading waterfalls, the rocks and valleys,
adventure sports could be a brilliant medium to promote. River rafting, Bungee
jumping, trekking, rock climbing, paragliding amongst others could be focussed on,
to attract sport enthusiasts from both within and outside the country.
C) Coastal Tourism: Amongst travellers, a majority have been found to love the
sea. With a mainland coastline of 5700 kilometres and an added 1800
kilometres of coastline of the Andaman and Lakshwadeep, India has a huge
coastline to boast of.
D) Historical Tourism: Steeped in rich history of a civilization older than 5000
years, India’s march down the annals of history can be packaged interestingly.
The forts of Gwalior, Jodhpur, Udaipur; temples of Madurai, Caves of Ajanta
and Ellora are exemplary locations that attract tourists in herds. Tourism can
also be segmented region wise.<!--[endif]-->
2. IT-based infrastructure: Aimed at corporate tourism as well as high-end
travellers for leisure, IT-enabled solutions could turn out to be a great service
differentiator. India should especially, in mid-sized and premium hotels, enable Wi-
Fi connectivity with good and robust bandwidth. Not only does it facilitates
business decisions and deals but also allays work-related tensions that could
possibly be communicated through the Internet.
3. Safety: The recent spate of incidents that question, in many ways, the strength
of the police and safety infrastructure in the country has to be a prime area of
concern. The 26/11 attacks on the Taj and Oberoi hotels had terrorists targeting
foreign tourists. There has to be safety cells with greater decentralization and fast
track courts that cater to tourism related incidents specifically.
4. Pan India Integration: The Incredible India campaign was a brilliant exercise
which successfully roped in greater number of tourists to India. However India,
being so diverse a nation, cannot be packaged into a single ethos that can be
described by the word ‘Incredible’. There has to be a differentiation in terms of
pan India packages and regional packages.
5. Public Private Partnership: There are several advantages that can be listed
about such an initiative between public sector involvement (for their available
funds) and private sector (through professional management of services). Some of
the advantages are:
•Acceleration of Infrastructure Provision
•Faster Implementation
•Value for Money
•Genuine Risk Transfer
•Performance-Related Reward
•Improved Quality of Service
Conclusion
One of the obvious conclusions about the Indian Tourism industry is that it has
great potential to be one of the best tourist destinations of the world. The need of
the hour is to milk the opportunity and apply a two-pronged approach. One, for
first time visitors of other nationalities, there could be India wide tours and two, a
segmented approach towards niche category of tourists, who should be served
according to the specificity of their needs. In an increasingly customer-driven
approach, the training of professional staff for serving the customer, who dictates
the needs and the delivery, is aptly rewarded.
It represents not just an opportunity to showcase the true hues of Indian landscape
and culture but also an immense platform to break the jinx of India as the land of
snake charmers and black magic to a land of true beauty.