Tourism in India continues to grow, both in volume and value. Foreign Tourist Arrivals to the country registered a growth of 11.8% in 2010 as compared to the previous year and the period January to November of the year 2011 has registered a further growth of 9.4% in tourist arrivals. Foreign Exchange earnings in Rupee terms registered a growth of 18.1% in 2010 as compared to 2009 and during the period January to November of the year 2011, there has been a further growth of 18.8% as compared to the same period in 2010. Domestic tourist visits during 2010 were recorded at 740.21 million, an increase of 10.7% as compared to the previous year.
The objective of the Ministry of Tourism is to increase India’s share in world tourist arrivals to 1% by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan. For achieving this objective, it has stepped up its promotional activities in important as well as potential source markets overseas.
The Ministry participated in the Fete de Geneve (Geneva Festival) in Geneva from the 4th to 14th August 2011 where India was the Guest of Honour country. An Indian Village was set up, showcasing Yoga, Wellness, Culture and Cuisine. With the remarkable presence of India and its outstanding programme, the 2011 Geneva Festival was a great success with about 1.8 million local and international visitors. India hosted the PATA Travel Mart 2011 in New Delhi from the 6th to 9th September, 2011. The Mart was attended by 302 buyer and 625 sellers and delegates from all over the world representing tourism authorities, tour operators, travel trade and hospitality organisations, opinion makers and media.
The Ministry also successfully participated in the World Travel Market (WTM) 2011, the international travel industry’s premier business-to-business forum, held in London from 7th to 10th November 2011. The Ministry has launched a Global Television Campaign covering leading television channels the world over and a Global Print Campaign covering leading publications in the Europe, Asia Pacific and American Regions, under the ‘Incredible India’ brand line. The Incredible India campaigns have been very successful worldwide and have won several international accolades over the years.
Important awards won during 2011 are – PATA Gold Award 2011 for Marketing Media-Travel Advertisement Print Media for Incredible India domestic campaign creative “Adventure Down Under”; PATA Gold Award 2011 for Marketing Media- Promotional Travel Video for promotional film “India is Awesome”; and World Travel Award 2011 for “Leading Destination” and “Leading Tourism Board”.
The Ministry of Tourism is also taking initiatives with other Central Government Ministries, State Governments and other Stakeholders to achieve convergence and synergy for the development and promotion of Tourism. It has successfully collaborated with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been renewed with the ‘Experience India Society’, an initiative of leading hotel chains and tour operators to promote India through a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Tourism.
Due to the efforts of the Ministry, an Inter-ministerial Coordination Committee for the Tourism Sector has been set up under the chairmanship of the Principal Secretary to PM. The Committee will facilitate resolution of inter-ministerial issues involved in the development of tourism in the country, as well as issues raised by industry associations in the tourism sector.
One aspect that has impacted tourism in our country, both international and domestic, relates to unsatisfactory hygiene and cleanliness at important tourist destinations. The Ministry has taken the initiative to put in place a comprehensive strategy to effect cleanliness at tourist destinations under the “Campaign Clean India”. The Campaign will employ a balance of persuasion, education, sensitization, training, demonstration and regulation for achieving its goal and will be implemented in collaboration with other Central and State Government Ministries, the Corporate Sector, Travel Trade, NGOs, Educational Institutions, Media and Stakeholders.
( Inputs from the Ministry of Tourism)
(Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/52243088@N00/491105630/)