India’s tourism sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Even though the country’s share in the global tourism industry is just about 0.55 per cent, the sector has evolved rapidly over the last few years, in several different areas. Between 2006 and 2011, the tourism and hospitality sector registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent, making a direct contribution to the tune of USD 32.7 billion.
Close analysis of this growth reveals the evolution of India’s tourism sector, which has thrown open opportunities for not just the big corporate houses but small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Take for instance, a photography training session combined with a tourist destination or single matched holidays or a theme based resort. New innovative concepts, such as these, are gaining popularity among young Indians, who wish to move beyond plain vanilla tourism. And some of these ventures catering to domestic tourists are being run by foreigners and overseas Indians, for they have the necessary experience and skills to operate them!
Another key trend within the tourism sector in India has been the emergence of medical tourism. Asia, as whole has approximately 12.7 per cent of the global market and major healthcare hospitals in India are registering strong growth, thanks to the surge in patients coming to India for treatment. According to reports, India will corner 3 per cent of the global medical tourism by 2013 and has the potential to contribute 25 per cent to India’s GDP over the next five years.
A high priority sector for the Indian Government, various steps have been undertaken to increase foreign tourist arrivals in India and expand the sector. What makes this sector really exciting for investors is the variety of tourist requirements, spread across domestic and foreign. Given this situation, there is a definite and a strong need to create adequate products that cater to the needs, which are now spread across segments.
Furthermore, for development and promotion of tourism, the Working Group on Tourism for 12th Five Year Plan, set up by the Planning Commission, has recommended a total outlay of Rs 22,800 crore for the sector during 12th Plan. The target growth rate in domestic tourism is 12 per cent per annum during the