By Netra Mittal
As the largest service sector, and what accounts for the largest export industry in the world, tourism plays a major role in the shaping of an economy. Campaigns like “Incredible India” seem to have finally played their part in bringing in more foreign visitors to India. Due to the easing of visa norms and extension of the e-visa services, India witnessed a 14.4 percent growth in tourist arrivals in November, this year.
Economic benefits of tourism
Tourism is recognised by the World Bank as a socially and economically useful sector. It is believed to have a growing importance in today’s world. Several times, it has been pointed out that a boost or expansion of tourism in a country would further lead to economic development.
Tourism is said to be a sector capable of producing the most jobs per million rupees of investment. This is to say that it has a high multiplier effect. As far as job creation goes, it is especially important as it continues to pull in opportunities in every part of the country—even in the most remote areas.
Other boons of tourism
Tourism affects other industries such as handlooms, handicrafts, transportation, real estate, among others. Real estate and tourism are said to be sectors that are complementary to each other, as more tourists lead to requirements for infrastructure development, and better infrastructure leads to more tourists.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, there was a 56.2 percent growth in foreign tourist arrivals on the e-Tourist visas in November, this year, as compared to November 2016. The FTAs on e-Tourist Visa had also witnessed an appreciable growth.
Areas for improvement
All the same, it is not uncommon to hear about India’s tourists’ complaints, often ranging merely from price discrimination to severe instances of sexual harassment. To boost tourism India must not rely solely on its policies. It also requires a change in its behaviour. India needs to take its slogan Atithi Devo Bhava to heart.
Featured Image Source: Flickr
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