South Asian Insider
Why India’s tourism sector needs close monitoring
There is no doubt that India needs tourists, but it’s imperative that we plan for the long haul, and not focus on just the quick gains. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation, a specialised agency of the UN, has said that international tourist arrivals in India grew from 14.57 million in 2016 to 15.54 million in 2017 and receipts increased from $22.42 billion to $27.36 billion. This is good news for India because tourism is one of the mainstays of the economy. In fact, almost 300 leading tour operators from across the globe will be in New Delhi later this month to participate in an event that focuses on marketing India as a destination. This is part of the government’s efforts to make a renewed attempt at selling its tourist destinations to the world, aiming for 20 million tourist arrivals over the next three years. This is not an ambitious target. India can reach it provided the Centre and the states take care of certain basic issues: security, infrastructure and connectivity (the latest round of the UDAN regional connectivity scheme has awarded 325 routes to airlines as well as helicopter operators for enhancing air connectivity to 73 new airports and helipads in tier 2 and tier 3 cities).
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