Tourism in India

Development, performance and prospects

Authored by: Girish Prayag , Subhajit Das

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism in Asia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138784581
eBook ISBN: 9781315768250
Adobe ISBN: 9781317665892


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Tourism has emerged as an important sector of the Indian economy in the last ten years contributing significantly to GDP and foreign exchange earnings. By 2024, it is expected that tourism could contribute as much as 6.8% to GDP and create 48.37 million jobs, either directly or indirectly (WTTC 2014). In 2013, the direct contribution of tourism to GDP was way above the world average of US$18bn, but significantly lower than the Asia-Pacific average of US$163.5bn. The tourism industry in India is expected to grow at least 6.4% per annum over the period 2014–2024, placing the country in the top 15 destinations with the highest projected tourism growth (WTTC 2014). Despite the destination's economic, cultural, infrastructural and political landscape acting as enablers of tourism growth, these factors also create barriers to growth. Accordingly, the purpose of this chapter is to examine the performance of the tourism industry in India with respect to both the outbound and inbound tourism markets. Hence, the chapter also outlines some of the key challenges and opportunities facing the tourism industry. The chapter starts with a brief overview of the physical geography and a historical account of tourism development in India, followed by an analysis of the performance of the outbound and inbound tourism markets. Thereafter, three major enablers and barriers to tourism growth – namely, economic conditions, physical infrastructure and politics – are reviewed. The chapter concludes with a case study on the Incredible India campaign and its associated marketing strategies to boost tourism numbers.

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