Tourism including Eco-tourism in India | Tourism Sector in India | UPSC Notes

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Tourism including Eco-tourism in India | Tourism Sector in India | UPSC Notes

What exactly is tourism?

• Tourism is short-term travel for fun, relaxation, work, or family reasons.

It means when people move to places other than where they live for a short amount of time.

• Who are the tourists?

The World Tourism Organisation says that tourists are “people who travel to and stay in places outside of their usual environment for less than a year in a row for leisure, business, or other reasons.”

• Ecotourism is a type of tourism that involves “responsible travel to natural areas, protecting the environment, and making life better for the people who live there.”

Ecotourism is a way to combine conservation, communities, and vacation that doesn’t hurt the environment. This means that people who run ecotourism events, take part in them, or market them should follow the following ecotourism principles:

o Lessen the physical, emotional, behavioural, and mental effects as much as possible.

o Raise knowledge and respect for the environment and other cultures.

o Make sure that both guests and hosts have good times.

o Give money directly to protection efforts.

o Make money for both the people in the area and private businesses.

o Give visitors memorable events that help them understand the political, environmental, and social climates of host countries.

o Plan, build, and run facilities with low environmental effect.

o Respect the rights and spiritual views of the Indigenous People in your community and work with them to empower them.

• Sustainable tourism: The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) says that sustainable tourism “refers to the environmental, economic, and social/cultural aspects of tourism growth. To make sure it will last for a long time, there needs to be a good mix between these three things.

• Green Tourism: Green tourism is made up of different types of activities that are good for the earth. Green tourism is a broad term for being an eco-friendly tourist or offering eco-friendly services to tourists.

Even though “green tourism” sounds like it would be good for the environment, this is not the case. So, even though the term sounds nice, it’s often used to brand a hotel as “green” even if it doesn’t do much to help the environment.

 Over the years, the word “green” has gotten a bad name because many hotels and tours have used it as a way to market themselves without actually doing anything to help the environment. This is called “greenwashing.” This is a label that hotels give themselves even if they haven’t done even the most basic things to be more environmentally friendly, like recycle and save water.

Types of Tourism In India

India is a colourful and diverse country that is popular with tourists from all over the world. It has everything from modern cities and churches to the high peaks of the Himalayas and the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. India is a popular place for tourism, and many of its top spots are known all over the world. Here are some types of tourism in India:

• Nature tourism: Since India is a peninsula with one of the world’s longest coastlines, it has a lot of beautiful beaches along its coast and in its islands.

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India has a lot of evergreen woods with many different kinds of plants and animals.

There are a lot of hill stations, and each one has its own beauty and sense of adventure.

Places with a lot of natural beauty:

“Heaven on Earth” – Uttarakhand

“Paradise on Earth”: Kashmir

“God’s on Country”- Kerala

Shimla, Jammu, Goa, Munnar, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Conoor, Shillong, Darjeeling, Mussoorie, Leh-Ladakh, Manali, Nanital, are well-known places.

• Heritage and cultural tourism: India may be the best place in the world for spiritual tourism because it is the birthplace of both Buddhism and Hinduism and has hundreds of monasteries and old churches. Varanasi is a holy city on the banks of the Ganges River. Its ghats and tall Hindu temples draw a lot of people from all over the world.

• Wildlife Tourism: India is full of wild things that can’t be found anywhere else. The climate and geography of the country make it one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Under the MAB programme of UNESCO, India takes care of 566 wildlife preserves, 105 national parks, and 12 bio reserves. The Deccan Peninsula, the Western Ghats, the Gangetic Plains, the North Eastern Region, and the Himalayan Region are some of India’s most important wildlife areas.

• Adventure tourism: The Himalayas are one of the most popular places on Earth for hikers, mountaineers, and climbers, and they offer almost endless opportunities for trekking adventures.

• Pilgrimage tourism: In the past, most people travelled to visit holy places. India is the most famous place for pilgrimage tourism because it is the home of every religion. In the table below, you can see the most popular pilgrimage sites in India:

• Medical Tourism: After the software/IT business, the medical tourism industry in India could be the next big thing.

The number of overseas patients reached 400000 in 2013, up from 10,000 in 2000. This shows that medical tourism has grown.

In 2014, 110000 foreign patients were treated at Apollo Hospitals alone.

How important ‘tourism’ is in India

• It makes money and gives people jobs. In 2017, 8% of all jobs were in the tourism industry. The number of handlooms, arts, etc. that are sold has gone up.

• The service sector gets a boost from it. As the tourism industry grows, so do the number of businesses in the service sector, such as airlines, hotels, land transportation, etc.

• Foreign Travellers help India in getting Foreign Exchange.

• Tourism helps protect National Heritage and Environment by bringing attention to how important places are and how important it is to keep them safe.

• Renewal of Cultural Pride: When tourist spots in India are praised around the world, Indians feel more proud of their country.

• Infrastructure Development: Infrastructures that can be used for more than one thing are being built at many tourist spots to make sure travellers don’t have any problems. The plan for Uttarakhand to start mobile trailers is the most recent example.

• It helps put India on the tourism map of the world, gets India praise and attention, and starts cultural exchanges.

• Tourism is a form of soft power that helps India and other countries make friends and work together. It does this by bringing people together and supporting cultural diplomacy.

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Scope of Tourism in India

• Tourism is the largest service business in India. In 2018, it made up 9.2% of India’s GDP and 8.78% of all jobs in the country.

• More than 17.9 million foreign tourists visit India every year, and 740 million Indians visit India for tourism. India’s tourism business brought in about US$100 billion in 2008. At a 6.9% annual growth rate, that number is expected to grow to US$275.5 billion by 2018.

• The World Tourism Organisation says that India will have the most visitors in South Asia by 2020, with 8.9 million people coming to visit.

• According to World Travel & Tourism, India will have the second-fastest growing tourism income in the world (8.8%) from 2005 to 2014.

Reasons to Invest:

• Tourism makes up 9.2% of India’s GDP and is the country’s third largest source of foreign cash.

• India comes in at number 34 on the World Economic Forum’s World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2019.

• India is the 16th most-visited country in the world. It gets 1.56 percent of all the money made from tourism around the world.

• India has a wide range of niche tourism goods, including cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, film, rural, and religious tourism.

• Three-quarters of the tourism business is made up of people who visit their own country.

• The UNWTO says that between 2008 and 2016, the travel and tourism business in India will grow by 8% per year.

• During the same time period, tourism is expected to bring in 14% more foreign currency on an annualised basis.

• FDI Policy: Under the automatic path, 100% FDI is allowed in tourism and hospitality, as long as it doesn’t break any rules or laws.

FDI is allowed in all tourism-related construction projects, such as building hotels, resorts, and leisure centres.

• Financial Support

A budget of INR 5 billion has been set aside for the building of 5 tourist circuits based on different themes.

A National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation (PRASAD), which will start this financial year, has been given INR 1 billion.

National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), which will be started, has been given INR 2 billion to help protect and keep the heritage character of certain towns.

It will cost INR 1 billion to keep archaeological places in good shape.

The Ministry of Culture has set aside Rs.1455.00 Crore for its Annual Plan for 2015–16.

Major Policy Initiative – taken by Indian Government

• Below are some important dates for the Indian tourism industry

In 1988, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism was set up.

1991: Tourism as a way to get money from outside the country

National Action Plan for Tourism (1992); Visit India Year (1999-2000);

2002: The idea of highway tourism, farm tourism, and rural tourism. Incredible India is the name of a programme that was started.

In 2009, a new campaign called “Atithi Devo Bhava” was launched. The government also took steps to promote the tourism business.

In 2002, the Indian government announced a new plan for tourism.


• Getting Indian tourism off the ground

Incredible India! – AAMIR KHAN, a spokesperson for the brand.

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 Gujarat Tourism: – AMITABH BACHCHAN. (B.Amb)

Tourism in Kerala: Government of Kerala (Incredible India!).

Rajasthan Tourism: (Incredible India!) Govt. of Rajasthan.

Tourism in Madhya Pradesh: Government of Madhya Pradesh (Incredible India!).

• Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the Ministry of Tourism gives Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments and Union Territory Administrations to help them build facilities for 13 theme-based circuits.

 13 Circuits are: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.

• As part of the “National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive” (PRASHAD) Scheme, integrated development of selected pilgrimage sites has been done. This includes creating jobs.

• The “Adopt a Heritage Project” wants to give heritage sites, monuments, and other tourist sites to private companies, public companies, and private people so that they can be improved with different tourist amenities.

• Incredible India Website to reach out to travellers and interact with them.

• An online learning management system to train people to work as tourist guides.

Problems in India’s tourism business

• Infrastructure and Connectivity: Some heritage places are inaccessible to tourists due to poor infrastructure and inadequate connectivity. For example, it is still hard to get to many tourist spots like Kangchenjunga.

• Low-cost hotels: The hotels and vacation homes don’t meet standards because they are dirty and don’t have good cleanliness.

• Lack of simple services at tourist destinations, such as drinking water, clean bathrooms, first aid, a cafeteria, etc.

• Lack of Skills: There aren’t enough people with the right skills in the tourism and hospitality industry, which makes it hard to give guests a world-class experience.

• Entry/exit Problem: Even though e-visas have been made available, tourists still find it hard to apply for a visa.

• Promotion and marketing: India’s tourism marketing has been getting better, but online marketing and branding are still limited, and efforts are not coordinated.

• Safety: Tourists have often been beaten up, robbed, or tricked in India, and nothing has been done about it.

• Tourism is based on seasons, with the busiest time being from October to March. November and December are also very busy.

• Small stores do not accept International Cards.

India’s Tourism

Way Forward

• We need faster growth of all kinds of infrastructure, including physical, social, and digital.

• Tourist safety comes first. For tourists, an organised guide system can be set up.

• People who live in India should be encouraged to treat tourists well so that tourists don’t get scammed.

• Getting people interested in other kinds of tourism, such as medical tourism, adventure tourism, and so on, to solve the problem of weather. Off-season concessions are also a good idea.

• India’s size and wide range of natural, geographical, cultural, and artistic features give it a lot of chances. Indian tourism should take advantage of this.