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Tourism: The under-utilised mine

Tourism: The under-utilised mine

By Arjit Sethi

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
― Gustave Flaubert

 Over the decades, the tourism industry has experienced continuous growth to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. The tourism industry in India is ample and vibrant, and the country is fast becoming a major global destination. In a nutshell, we can say that tourism has become a thriving global industry, experiencing a strong period of growth, driven by the escalating middle class, growth in high-spending tourists.

Travel & tourism industry in India is marked by considerable government presence. The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the development and promotion of tourism in India and maintains the “Incredible India” campaign. Besides, each State has a tourism corporation, which runs a chain of hotels/rest houses and operates package tours, while the Central Government runs the India Tourism Development Corporation. The tourism industry in India is based on certain nationalistic ideals such as Swaagat or welcome, Sahyog or cooperation, Soochna or information, Sanrachanaa or infrastructure, Suvidha or facilitation, Safaai or cleanliness and Surakshaa or security. Last but not least, the main core recital Atithi Devo Bhava, which had once enlightened “Peace” in the soul of Indians, has now become the mantra for heartening India’s culture, and hence a way to make foreigners feel at home. So, foreign tourists are spending more time in India than before( I am being optimistic in this entire article ignoring the very shameful cases of misbehaving with foreigners).

India’s tourism industry is the most profitable industry in the country, and it is also credited with contributing to a large proportion of the National Income, facilitating a large amount of foreign exchange and generating huge employment opportunities. It has, no doubt, become the fastest-growing service industry in the country, with great potentials for its further expansion and diversification. Tourism industry in India has several impacts on the economy and the society. Tourism in India has emerged as an instrument of income and employment generation, poverty alleviation and sustainable human development. Almost 20 million people are now working in India’s tourism industry.

The tourism industry can also help growth in other sectors as diverse as horticulture, handicrafts, agriculture, construction and even poultry. Besides, it can contribute directly to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. Revenue from park-entrance fees and similar sources can be allocated specifically to pay for the protection and management of environmentally-sensitive areas. Special fees for park operations or conservation activities can be collected from tourists or tour operators. The Union Government, through the tourism department, can also collect money in more far-reaching and indirect ways that are not linked to specific parks or conservation areas. User fees, income taxes, taxes on sales or rental of recreation equipment, and license fees for activities such as rafting and fishing can provide the Government with the funds needed to manage natural resources. Such funds can be used for overall conservation programs and activities, such as park ranger’s salaries and park maintenance.

Still I believe we haven’t used this wonderful and renewable revenue resource to its optimum level. Better infrastructure and willingness of the regional political parties can prove to be a game changer in this situation.

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down”  

Arjit Sethi did his schooling from DPS R.K.Puram. Currently, he is a student member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He represented his school and received the Gobartimes Award from Mrs. Sheila Dixit. He also secured the School Rank 1 in the International Mathematics Olympiad. He belongs to New Delhi and has a great fondness for the street food as most of the Delhiites, and is addicted to soccer. The best thing he likes about himself is his punctuality. He is extremely attracted to the Indian Bureaucracy and has a great desire to be its part one day.


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