Travel market in India projected to reach $125 billion by FY27: FICCI

New Delhi: The travel market in India is projected to reach $125 billion by FY17, up from an estimated $75 billion in FY10. There were 31.8 million jobs in India’s tourism industry in 2020, which is expected to grow to 53 million by 2029 and international tourist arrivals is expected to reach 30.5 billion by 2028. All these are the findings of a new report by industry chamber FICCI.

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which is cited in the FICCI report, international tourism witnessed a year-on-year growth of 182% in January-March, with destinations across the world at 41 million in Q1 2021 Welcomed an estimated 117 million international arrivals.

India is a huge market for travel and tourism. It offers a diverse portfolio of specialty tourism products – cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco tourism, film, rural and religious tourism. India has been recognized as a destination for spiritual tourism for domestic and international tourists. Tourism in India, like many other countries, is an important source of foreign exchange. Forex earnings grew at a CAGR of 7% from 2016 to 2019, but slowed down in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The growing influence of the tourism sector as an economic powerhouse and its potential as an instrument of development is undeniable. The tourism sector not only leads to economic development, but also improves the quality of life of people with the potential to generate a variety of large-scale jobs, supports environmental protection, promotes diverse cultural heritage , and strengthens peace in the world.

Before the start of the pandemic, the Indian travel and tourism industry was expected to grow at an annualized growth rate of 6.9% during 2019-2028 to reach $460 billion, which is about 9.9% of India’s GDP in 2028.

The total contribution of travel and tourism to India’s GDP in 2019 was 7% of the total economy or 15,792 billion. This dropped to 4.3% or . done 9,167 billion in 2020. In 2021, that figure is 5.8%, or . increased to 13,161 billion.

The industry contributed 40.10 million jobs in 2019, which fell to 29.14 million in 2020, but rose again to 32.10 million in 2021.

International visitor spending, however, fell from 2532.6 billion in 2019 653.5 billion in 2021. Domestic tourism remained stagnant from 2019 to 2021, however. went on to contribute 11,515 billion in 2019 to 7,170 billion in 2020. this figure has increased 11,166.6 billion in 2021. The FICCI report states that it has taken this data from ‘WTTC 2022 Annual Research: Key Highlights’.

The pandemic has shed more light on the structural barriers preventing India’s tourism industry from reaching its full potential. Seasonality is the biggest factor, affecting the ability of tourism businesses to retain employees throughout the year and reducing economic productivity.

Market fragmentation, which can impede coordination across sectors, and lack of information are other barriers.

To increase travel mobility, Usha Padhi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the government is working to increase the number of airports in the country from the existing 140 to 200 by 2024. He said that aviation and tourism are complementary sectors. “There is a need for air connectivity in line with what the tourism sector is doing,” he said.

G Kamala Vardhan Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism said that there is a need to develop and showcase new tourist destinations to attract more travelers from both domestic and international countries. “We must collectively work to ensure that new destinations come with infrastructure,” he said while addressing the ‘Seventh National Tourism Investors Summit 2022’ organized by the federation.

“India is going to host G-20 meetings next year and it will be held in different states and cities. States are also investing heavily for infrastructure creation. I urge investors to come forward and invest in the hospitality sector.”

Jyotsna Suri, chairperson of FICCI Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Committee and CMD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said that India needs strong domestic tourism. “We need to go beyond the areas that are unemployed. Connectivity is one of the biggest shortcomings that we have to rectify.”

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