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Monday, 29 October, 2018, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

Keep the Momentum Going

According to a recent report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council, in 2017 the tourism industry contributed to 10.4% of the total GDP of the world. It is also one of the largest employment generating sectors and created 313 million jobs, worldwide. It has been identified that travelling has become a popular activity among people from countries where economic development has happened at a considerably faster pace during the last decade. In recent years, this has been especially true for most Asian countries and India is not far behind.

With opportunities come obstacles. People travel for positive experiences, but it only takes one negative experience to deter a tourist’s confidence to travel. One of the most fundamental requirements of a trip is the travellers’ safety and security. This is not only true for global tourism, but also for domestic locations as well. When there is a perceived lack of security, due to potential violence or unrest due to the socio-political environment of a country or region, travel & tourism takes a major hit.

The lack of proper medical care and facilities in the unlikely event of the outbreak of epidemics or proper disaster management controls during the occurrences of natural disasters are some other factors that could hamper tourism. Rising fuel prices also have an indirect impact on the growth of tourism as air travel becomes costlier. Finally, high rate of inflation and poor exchange rates create a negative impact especially for international travel.

When it comes to India’s tourism market, since this is a sector with higher taxes compared to peers in the region, we will be unable to attract the same volume of tourists as in other Asian countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka or Vietnam. The government should work on finding a sustainable solution to this along with the support of the travel trade fraternity, considering that the tourism sector is one of the significant contributors to the economy.

Not to say that the Government of India is neglecting the sector. The focused efforts to improve the visibility of India as a tourist destination, such as the ‘Incredible India’ campaign, ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, have helped in providing an impetus to the industry. Unique initiatives such as offering tax holidays to hotels around some UNESCO World Heritage sites have also helped in providing comfortable stay at affordable prices for visiting travellers. We just need to do more to keep building this sector.

Being a passionate and an enthusiastic traveller, it was always my wish to bring forth my views on the impact of geopolitical factors on travel and thanks to TravelBiz Monitor for the opportunity to share them through this article. TravelBiz Monitor has been one of the forerunners of the trade journals and I wish them the very best on their 11th Anniversary celebrations.

It is always a pleasure to write for TravelBiz Monitor, and we look forward to continue our long standing association for many more years to come.

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