New Delhi, October 24, 2017: The travel and tourism industry in 2016 supported over 25,400,000 jobs (5.8 per cent of the total employment) and has tremendous potential to rise by 2.5 per cent provided the budgetary allocation was enhanced from the current 0.9 per cent of the total allocation to atleast 0.15 per cent in 2018-19. Releasing the study here on Saturday, the ASSOCHAM spokesperson said, the formation of National Tourism Authority (NTA) also needs to be taken up on priority and position it as an important authority.

NTA could be the nodal agency for several activities like investment promotion, marketing, escalation resolutions, capturing and dissemination of more real-time tourism statistics, developmental planning and implementation coordination, extending support to State counterparts etc. The joint study conducted by ASSOCHAM-Yes Bank has proposed developmental interventions including tourism infrastructure development and the emergence of tourism themes.
Tourism sector should be accorded lower GST slabs to make the Indian tourism industry more competitive as compared to other affordable global destinations. ‘India is fast developing into a Medical & wellness tourism hub of Asia because of superior quality healthcare services at a low treatment cost,’ the study claimed. Treatment of major surgeries in India costs approximately 20 per cent of that in developed countries. Creation of Medical hubs through PPP will boost medical tourism. Wellness tourism should be promoted by marketing indigenous methodologies such as Yoga and Ayurveda.
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to Indian GDP was 208.9 billion dollar, 9.6 per cent of GDP in 2016, and is forecast to rise by 6.7 per cent in 2017 and 10.0 per cent of GDP in 2027. Further Travel & Tourism investment in 2016 accounted for 5.7 percent of total investment (34.0 billion dollar). It should rise by 4.5 per cent in 2017, and rise by 5.7 per cent p.a. over the next ten years to 61.8 billion dollar in 2027, 5.7 per cent of total.
India’s tourism and foreign income earnings are direct function of its Air Service Agreements. India has Bilateral Air Service Agreements, and follows a liberal Air Transport Policy relating to inbound international tourist charter operations. Although the policy on inbound charters is hassle-free, operators face issues with airport infrastructure, slots and delays in obtaining permissions from DGCA and other bodies which has a detrimental impact on the tourism.

United News Of India