National Tourism Day

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    In Context

    • National Tourism Day is celebrated across the country on January 25 every year.

    More about National Tourism Day

    • The Indian government established January 25th as National Tourism Day to raise awareness about the importance of tourism for the country’s economy. 
    • The day is observed to cultivate awareness among the global community on the importance of tourism and its social, political, financial and cultural worth.
    • Ministry: The ministry of tourism is the nodal agency in India to form national policies for the promotion and development of tourism. 

    Potential of India’s Tourism sector 

    • India offers several forms of tourism such as cultural, nature, heritage, educational, business, sports, rural, medical, cruise and eco-tourism. 
    • India offers geographical diversity, world heritage sites and niche tourism products like cruises, adventure  etc. 
    • Historical Linkages : India has always been a popular destination for travellers exploring spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery. 
    • For centuries many great foreign travellers have visited India and shared their experiences in the form of memoirs, travelogues, poetry and books, as Megasthenes, Hiuen-Tsang, Marco Polo, and Fa-Hien have shown. 
      • India is a tourist destination to rekindle one’s inner self.

    Significance 

    •  The Tourism and Hospitality industry is one of the largest service industries in India.
      • The tourism sector in India is an integral pillar of the Make in India programme. 
      • The tourism industry in India plays a role of significant economic multiplier and becomes critical since India has to grow at rapid rates and create jobs.
        • Tourism tends to encourage the development of multiple-use infrastructure including hotels, resorts & restaurants, transport infrastructure (aviation, roads, shipping & railways) and healthcare facilities
      • Tourism Industry is also one of the largest employers of women workforce.

    Data Analysis 

    • Global position:
      • India is currently ranked 54th in World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (2021).
      • 13th in terms of Visitor exports, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), 2020.
    • Other Estimates 
      • By 2030, India is expected to be among the top five business travel markets.
      • The Medical Tourism sector is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 21.1% from 2020-27.
      • The travel market in India is projected to reach US$ 125 billion by FY27 from an estimated US$ 75 billion in FY20.
      • International tourist arrivals are expected to reach 30.5 million by 2028.

    Challenges

    • Affected by Pandemic:
      • The tourism industry has been heavily hit by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic: The World Tourism Organization has said that tourist arrivals around the world are not expected to return to their pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
    • Safety and Security: 
      • Safety & security of tourists is the most important factor which governs whether people will come to that destination or not. 
      • Increasing the rate of Sexual Abuse of women, Theft, Credit Card Fraud. Moreover, Identity Theft, Food Poisoning, Terrorism. Also, Public Violence is affecting Indian Tourism to a high intent.
    • Lack of Proper infrastructure or foundation:
      • Proper transportation facilities, health facilities, stability. Also, uninterrupted connectivity and other human resources are mandatory for enduring tourism.
    • Insufficient Digital Promotion and Marketing:
      • Grand promotion and suitable digital marketing push are excessively indispensable for a nation’s travel industry improvement. The Digital marketing of the Indian Tourism industry is not to the point yet.

    Government’s initiatives:

    • Investment:
      • 100% FDI in the tourism industry is allowed under automatic route
      • 100% FDI allowed in tourism construction projects, including the development of hotels, resorts, and recreational facilities
    • Budgetary allocation:
      • In the Union Budget 2022-23, Rs. 2,400 crore has been allocated to the Ministry of Tourism which is 18.42% higher than the allocation for FY 2021-22.
    • National Conference on Tourist Police:  In October 2022, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Home Affairs organised the National Conference on Tourist Police (to develop tourist specific policing), aimed at working with the police and sensitising them on addressing the needs of foreign and domestic tourists.
    • ‘Yuva Tourism’ clubs : In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Tourism Ministry has begun establishing ‘Yuva Tourism’ clubs to nurture young ambassadors of Indian tourism
    •  The new draft National Tourism Policy 2022 : The policy has been formulated after situational analysis including the impact of COVID-19 and taking into account future projections for the tourism sector with a vision for India@100. 
    • Visit India Year 2023:  the Ministry of Tourism declaration of “Visit India Year 2023” aims to promote various tourism products and destinations to increase India’s share in the global tourism market. 
      •  As the birthplace to four major world religions, i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, India can truly claim to be the world’s spiritual beacon. This is at the core of the Visit India Year 2023.
    • Swadesh Darshan Scheme
    • National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme:
    • Dekho Apna Desh initiative:

    Way ahead

    • There is a need to train the workforce in India so that workers can develop the skills to perform jobs in the travel and tourism sector. 
    • Tourism-related business players would rethink new business models and innovation and virtual techniques have to be implemented.  

    There is a need to highlight the significance of public-private partnerships to improve infrastructure and tackle the problem of end connectivity, which negatively affects the experiences of international travelers.