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Tourism Industry

A Trariti Group Case Study by Aakash Malik

Tourism and hospitality industry has emerged as one of the most important development engines in the country's services sector. Given the country's rich cultural and historical history, diversity in ecosystem, terrains, and natural beauty spots, tourism in India has a lot of promise. Aside from being a substantial source of foreign money, tourism has the potential to generate a huge number of jobs. For both local and foreign travellers, India has been acknowledged as a spiritual tourism destination. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi invited people to visit 15 domestic tourist spots in India by 2022 in his Independence speech from Red Fort.

In the World Economic Forum's 2019 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, India came in at number 34. In terms of digital tools used for planning, booking, and experiencing a vacation, India is the most technologically sophisticated traveller nation. The rise of India's middle class and increased disposable money has aided the expansion of both domestic and international tourism.

Tourism in India


India has a wide range of geographical features, including beautiful beaches, 30 World Heritage Sites, and 25 biogeographic zones. Several beautiful beaches may be found throughout the country's long coastline. To enhance India's part in the global tourist market, the Ministry of Tourism is promoting the Buddhist Circuit.


India's medical tourism sector is estimated to reach Rs 67,311 crores by 2020. In 2019, a total of 10.89 million international visitors visited the country. By 2028, international visitor arrivals are anticipated to total 30.5 million. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited people to travel to 15 of India's domestic tourism sites by 2022.


India has a diverse physical landscape, beautiful beaches, 30 World Heritage Sites, and 25 bio-geographic zones. To leverage the tourism industry's potential, campaigns such as Swadesh Darshan, a theme-based tourist circuit, were developed. A policy for the development and marketing of caravan and caravan camping sites has been developed by the Ministry of Tourism.


Cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, cinema, rural, and religious tourism are just a few of the specialised tourist offerings available in India. Following the pandemic issue, the government intends to capitalise on regional tourism by welcoming visitors from South Asian countries. To assist MSMEs in dealing with the crisis and reviving the economy, the government is giving free loans, including the tourism sector.

Evolution of the Indian Tourism and Hospitality Sector


PRE 1990s

In 1982, the National Tourism Policy was launched. In 1988, the government created a comprehensive plan to boost tourism.


Tourism has been recognized an industry in some Indian states. The government emphasized the need of public-private partnerships in the industry. The hotel business is boosted by government programs.


In 2002, the government launched a national tourist programme that emphasised the development of a strong infrastructure. Domestic tourism has been boosted by online travel sites and low-cost carrier aircraft.

2015 onwards

To entice tourists, the government has launched a number of marketing campaigns. The eTourist Visa was introduced; in 2019, 2.93 million international visitors used the e-Tourist Visa, representing a 23.6 percent increase over the previous year. In 2019, the travel and tourism industry accounted for 8.0 percent of all job openings. After China and the United States, India ranked third in the international tourist sector in November 2018.

Emerging tourism and hospitality segments



The vast diversity of flora and fauna seen in many states is one of the main reasons for their increasing appeal as tourist attractions. Kerala's Thenmala is India's first planned ecotourism resort.


This category includes a wide range of adventure sports as well as specialised packages. Mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, mountain biking, river rafting, and rock climbing are among the sports available.


Tourists flock to India for its diverse cultural heritage. Temples, magnificent forts, pleasure gardens, religious structures, museums, art galleries, and urban and rural locations all bear witness to the country's rich past.


In compared to any other BRIC nation, India's luxury travel industry is anticipated to increase at a rate of 12.8 percent between 2015 and 2025.


The goal is to promote trips to village settings to experience and live a peaceful and healthy lifestyle, as well as to foster interest in heritage and culture.


One of the most important sources of revenue for the tourist sector. India, being a religious crossroads for several civilizations, attracts a large number of travelers each year.


Tourists are looking for specialised medical treatments, such as ayurveda, spa, and other therapies. The fundamental goal is to achieve, promote, or maintain excellent health and a positive sense of well-being.

Top Players across segments


Online booking Revenue: 3,832 crores

Other players:,

Make My Trip is India's biggest online travel firm, offering fast reservations and a wide range of options to Indian travelers. In year 2000, it began serving the US-India travel industry, offering a variety of best-value goods and services backed by technology and round-the-clock client care. It has added a number of online and offline products and services to diversify its product offering.




4,174 crores

Other players:

ITC, Oberoi, Marriott

Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) offers visitors a unique blend of warm Indian hospitality and world-class services. It may be found in 12 nations on four continents: India, North America, the United Kingdom, Africa, and Sri Lanka. The three award-winning brands operating under the group are Taj, Vivanta, and The Gateway, which have 37, 33, and 28 hotels, respectively


Tour operators


1,037.1 crore

Other players:

Raj Travels, Kesari Tours

Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Limited (MHRIL) is a subsidiary of the global Mahindra Group's leisure and hospitality division. It provides traditional vacation ownership plans. MHRIL is one of the world's largest vac ation ownership companies. In vacation ownership industry, t is the market leader.

Government Policies and Initiatives

Swadesh Darshan:

The government has designated 15 circuits, including the Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Northeast Circuit, Coastal Circuit, wildlife circuit, and tribal circuit, based on distinct themes. Since FY15, 77 projects worth Rs. 6,035.70 crore have been sanctioned via the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The government has set up Rs. 1088.03 crore in Budget 2021-22 for the development of tourism infrastructure under Swadesh Darshan for the whole Northeast area.


The Ministry launched the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation to improve the amenities and infrastructure at pilgrimage centres around the country. The government has set up Rs. 207.55 crore in Budget 2020-21 for the development of tourism circuits under PRASHAD. Under this initiative, a total of 28 projects worth Rs. 840.02 crore have been approved thus far.

Tax Incentives:

For building new hotels in the 2-star category and above across India, an investment-linked deduction is in effect under Section 35 AD of the Income Tax Act, allowing for a 100 percent deduction on the entire or any capital cost. To improve India's competitiveness as a tourism destination, the government cut GST on hotel rooms with prices between Rs. 1,001 and Rs. 7,500 per night to 12% and those over Rs. 7,501 to 18% in 2019.

E-tourist Visa:

In 2019, the number of visitors arriving on e-Tourist Visa increased by 23.6 percent year on year to 2.36 million. Foreign visitors holding an eTourist Visa will be given a pre-activated BSNL SIM card with speak time and data.

New Tourism Policy in Progress:

India's Tourist Minister, stated in March 2021 that the country will soon publish a new tourism policy that focuses on boosting medical and religious tourism, as well as adding new locations.


Future prospect in niche markets


Tourism on cruise ships:

The cruise business is one of the most active and fastestgrowing areas in the world of leisure. According to the Indian government, by 2030-31, India would have a market of 1.2 million cruise tourists. In addition, India is aiming to capitalise on its 7,500-kilometer coastline to access the cruise tourist industry's development potential.

Tourism in the countryside:

The majority of India's population lives in rural regions, thus rural tourism has a lot of promise. This may help the local community financially and socially, as well as encourage contact between tourists and residents for a mutually beneficial experience.

Eco tourism:

India is known as a bio-diversity hotspot, and its rich natural history is unsurpassed in many respects. Such a significant resource base encourages the use of a wide range of alternative tourist forms, many of which are currently in use.

Medical tourism:

India is a popular medical tourism destination because of its worldclass facilities and competent medical experts. By 2020, India's medical tourism earnings might reach INR 67,311 crores. To exploit this market, tour companies are partnering with hospitals. Medical tourism will gain greatly as a result of the increasing awareness of the nation as safe and capable of coping with the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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