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Monday, 09 December, 2019, 10 : 08 AM [IST]

Chances of India touching 20 million Foreign Tourist Visits in near term is bleak: CAPA Study

Lack of Institutional infrastructure, aviation access, etc. are key barriers for growth
Saying Indiatourism’s current Foreign Tourist Arrival (FTA) target of 20 million by 2020 is “unrealistic” and therefore “unachievable”, Centre for Aviation – India (CAPA India), a trusted agency for market intelligence in aviation and travel industry, study report said that it is high-time Indian tourism embarked on a tourism mission which is realistic, achievable and implementable with “strategic determination and commitment” from all sides. 

 Presenting the study report at a ‘Tourism Powerhouse’ seminar organised by PATA India, Kapil Kaul, CEO-South Asia, CAPA stated that Indian tourism lacks institutional infrastructure, faces image issues when it comes to gender sensitivity, lack of innovation in cultural heritage, lacks sensitivity to environment sustainability and carrying capacity, and above all airline capacities to achieve the targeted growth.  

Questioning the veracity of the data being relied upon and debated, Kaul said that the current data collection lacks the “sophistication” to analyse trends and design future strategies accordingly. Large data adjustments do not help in right planning, he added. 

Although the FTAs to India as per 2018 statistics was 10.6 million, if the component of tourists arrived by land is removed, the actual number come down to 8.4 million. Even if the 10.6 million is taken as base figure, India has to register a growth of almost 89% to reach the 20 million FTA mark in 2020. However, the job would be easier if FTAs and ITAs (International Tourist Arrivals) put together which is around 17.9 million as per 2018 statistics.

 Analysing the low, average and high growth percentage of FTAs of the last 10 years, Kaul said that India would need to wait till 2037 to reach the 20 million arrivals if base CAGR growth of 5% is taken into account; 2031 if the average median growth of 7.5% ; and 2028 in case of the highest CAGR growth of 10% is taken as a growth benchmark.  

Even the existing air service capacities do not support the future growth. In a country where 97% of foreign tourists are air bound, capacity constraints will remain a key barrier for achieving the targeted growth. The bilateral air service policy framework of India is not aligned to the tourism growth, Kaul said. Most of the key international carriers have already exhausted their access to Indian metros.

 Kaul advocated strong institutional infrastructure and new governance architecture which is professional, accountable and result-oriented to realise future goals. He also urged for highest level of strategic determination, commitment and coordination between tourism and aviation industry to drive proper resources into the sectors to create capacities to realise future growth.
 
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