The Indian Tourism and Hospitality Industry: Growth Engine of Indian Economy

The Indian Tourism and Hospitality industry is poised to be one of the leading service sectors after IT sector. It has the great potential in providing varied employment opportunities to Indian youth. Not only is it capable of boosting employment generation but also a great contributor to National GDP growth. For instance, it contributes to 6.23 percent to the National GDP and 8.78 percent of the total employment in the country.

With the improvements in service standards, exponential growth and adaptability to suit to the needs of tourists and clients, Indian Hospitality Industry has garnered laurels all around the world. This industry has two wings, one is Tourism which includes medical and healthcare tourism, adventure tourism, heritage tourism, ecotourism, rural tourism, wildlife tourism and pilgrimage tourism. And the Second one is Hotels which are of different types namely, business hotels, suite hotels, resort hotels, airport hotels, extended stay hotels, apartment hotels, resort hotels, timeshare hotels, casino hotels, convention centers and conference centers.

Let’s first take a closer look at Indian Tourism Industry.                        

Not only has it provided the immense employment opportunities but also a good medium to boost the foreign exchange reserves for the country, thereby helps in reducing the Current Account Deficit (CAD). Let us put it in numbers, The travel and tourism industry contributed Rs 2.17 trillion (US$ 36 billion) or 2 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013.The figures are expected to touch a mark of Rs 4.35 trillion (US$ 72.17 billion) by 2024. It has been growing consistently at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 per cent every year and therby boosting the foreign exchange reserves of the country.

As per the reports of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), India’s travel and tourism sector is poised to be the second largest employer in the world by 2019. The reason behind this amazing fact is that it has the potential of providing employment to a vast array of job seekers ranging from unskilled to the specialized and educated workforce as it has its roots deep down to the remote parts of the country. As far as the ranking is concerned, ranking of India is 11th in the Asia Pacific region and 65th in the World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2013 as per the The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of 2013, published by World Economic Forum.

But what are the factors behind this rosy picture of Indian Tourism Industry? Why is it soaring at such a high rate? To answer these questions, we have a list of factors responsible for this amazing growth.

  1. Improvement in the living standards and income levels of middle class segment.
  2. Surge in niche tourism such as pilgrimage tourism, adventure tourism and healthcare tourism etc.
  3. 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment in hotel and tourism sector.
  4. Diversity of India proves to be magnetic for number of tourists each year.
  5. Government initiatives in improvement of infrastructure like airports, highways, ports and railways.

Indian Hospitality Industry

Indians are well versed in English which is a universally accepted fact. This gives us a sharp edge when it comes to compete with other tourism oriented economies. Being a labor intensive country with majority of people speaking in english helps in running the engine of economy. Employment opportunities ranges from the regular traditional ones like tour guide, travel agent, cook to Institutional and Industrial catering, Airline catering and cabin services, standalone five star restaurants, food and beverage services, cruise liners etc.

Time and again, Indian Hotels are proving their mettle all around the world and proving their worth to transit travellers, business travellers, business meets and holiday seekers etc. Thus attracting the clients from all walks of life. Five star Hotel brands like Taj, Oberoi, ITC, Leela etc. have been ruling the roost since their inception. The reason for popular Indian brands supremacy is that the Indian Hospitality Industry is taking the full advantage of the advancements that are shaping the Indian economy and the Govt. intiatives to boost the India economy like doing away with custom duty on imports of raw materials and liquor, Capital subsidy programmes for budget hotels, 100 percent FDI etc.

The Indian Hospitality Industry is ready to embrace the challenge in order to integrate with the World Economy more effectively. Thus these two segments viz, Tourism and Hotels are promising to be the future growth engines for Indian Economy.