WTTC identifies potential in India’s travel, tourism market

201705etw02

David Scowsill

India’s travel and tourism positionining globally has been witnessing an upward trend recently. The country’s travel and tourism sector has been recently ranked seventh in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, according to a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). According to the new data, travel and tourism generated INR 14.1 trillion in 2016, which is the world’s seventh largest in terms of absolute size, the sum is equivalent to 9.6 per cent of India’s GDP. The sector also supported 40.3 million jobs in 2016, which ranks India second in the world in terms of total employment supported by travel and tourism. The sector accounts for 9.3 per cent of the country’s total jobs.

On his recent visit to India, David Scowsill, president and CEO, WTTC, affirmed that India’s travel and tourism market is in a good shape globally, and the government needs to prioritise the maximum growth of this industry.

“We must work with the government to develop the sector in India. One out of 11 jobs in India is supported by this sector and over the next 10 years, the country will need additional nine million people,” he said while lauding the government’s efforts such as e-Visa, regional connectivity scheme, Incredible India and more.

“We congratulate India on the new electronic visa on arrival scheme. There is a need to introduce multi entry visas and to promote awareness of the scheme. We urge the government to deploy more marketing funds into the Incredible India campaign. Competition between countries is intense and more stand out is required. We recommend continued and sustained investment in travel infrastructure of airports, ports, rail, and road links. Growth will be slowed without this investment. We welcome last year’s sweeping reforms to the aviation industry, including the ability of foreign investors to own 100 per cent of airlines. An ambitious 15-20 year plan for aviation is now required, providing low-cost domestic flights between world-class airports,” added Scowsill.

WTTC had also raised concern over the recent Supreme Court order banning sale of liquor along highways.

Further reflecting India’s travel and tourism positioning, the 2017 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index marked India’s ranking jump to 12 points, ranking 40th in the index. Whereas, Japan and China ranked fourth and 15th respectively, however India made the largest leap in the top 50, up 12 places, to land in 40th place.

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