Indian Tourism: Finding Ways to Reach Its Potential

Indian Tourism: Finding Ways to Reach Its Potential

Rama Mohana Rao Katta (Department of Commerce and Management Studies, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India) and Chandra Sekhar Patro (Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering (Autonomous), Visakhapatnam, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.2019040102
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Tourism is one of the largest service industries in terms of gross revenue and foreign exchange earnings in many countries, including India. Its role and importance in fostering economic development of a country and creating greater employment opportunities has been well recognized worldwide. Tourism involves the exchange of ideas and leads to better understanding of people belonging to different cultures, traditions, lifestyles, heritage, customs, habits, regions and different countries. The tourism sector is facing the problem of an acute shortage of skilled personnel, and experience feedback from tourists (both foreign & domestic) about the services, like the basic facilities for tourists, safety and security, hospitality, tour guides, transport, entertainment, and other infrastructural services. Greater thrust and greater investment to correct these shortcomings is the need of the hour. This article aims to analyze the status of the tourism sector in India and explores the ways through which this sector can be promoted to its potential, both in domestic and international markets.
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Tourism is an activity of great socio-economic importance, as it facilitates economic growth and development of the region with social and cultural intermix. Tourism is all about experiences, thrilling, exciting and wonderful experiences of mind, body and soul. Tourism is the act and process of spending time away from home in pursuit of recreation, relaxation, and pleasure, while making use of the commercial provisions. It enhances one’s knowledge and wisdom. It promotes cultural understanding among societies throughout the world in a positive sense, while severe ecological and cultural deteriorations, lack of cultural uniqueness are the negative results of tourism (Yadav and Pandey, 2016). As tourism is a multi-dimensional activity, and basically a service industry, it would be necessary that all wings of the Central and State governments, private sector and voluntary organizations become active partners in the endeavor to attain sustainable growth in tourism if India is to become a world player in the tourism industry (Kaur and Sharma, 2015).

Tourism has emerged as one of the world’s largest service industries with sizeable economic benefits and immense opportunities. With the emergence of technological advancement, and competitiveness in service-based industries, tourism sector is playing a vital role in contributing to improve Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creation of employment across the world economy. This accelerating tourism industry is proved to be one of the important drivers of growth and prosperity, employment generation, raises national income and improvement in balance of payments of Indian economy. It accounts for one-third of the foreign exchange earnings of India and also gainfully employs the highest number of people compared to other sectors. This sector also attracts the domestic tourists and foreign tourists in an enthusiastic way which resulted in improving well balanced economy for the nation like in India (Mishra and Padhi, 2016).

The impact of Tourism on the economic and social development of a country can be enormous; opening it up for business, trade and capital investment, creating jobs, and entrepreneurialism for the workforce and protecting heritage and cultural values (WTTC, 2015). Tourism activities are considered to be one of the major sources of economic growth. It is a mechanism of generating the employment as well as income in both formal and informal sectors (Samina, Kakar and Waliullah, 2007; Gupta and Gupta, 2007; Aliquah and Al-rfou, 2010). It has the capacity to stimulate other economic sectors through its backward and forward linkages and cross-sectional synergies with sectors like agriculture, horticulture, poultry, handicrafts, transport, construction, and so on. It is also a major contributor to the national integration process of the country and encourages preservation of natural as well as cultural environments (Vethirajan and Nagavalli, 2014).

According to Williams (2006), tourism have become key global economic activities as expectations with regard to our use of leisure time have evolved, attributing greater meaning to our free time. This results in marketing having potentially greater importance in tourism than in other industries but sadly potential that is not always fulfilled (Morgan and Pritchard, 2002). The major reason for such unfulfilled potential lies in most tourism marketing focusing on the destination or outlet and lacking focus on the consumer. The rapid growth of tourism causes an increase of household incomes and government revenues through multiplier effects, improvements in the balance of payments, and also growth of the tourism industry (Kreishan, 2010). Traveling and Tourism has been an integral part of Indian Culture and Tradition. It is the most vibrant tertiary activity and a multibillion industry in India. With its lucrative linkages with transport, hotel industry, etc., the potential and performance of India’s tourism industry needs to be gauged in terms of its socio-economic magnitudes (Patel, 2012).

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