India is a large market for travel and tourism. It offers a diverse portfolio of niche tourism products – cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, film, rural and religious tourism. India has been recognized as a destination for spiritual tourism for domestic and international tourists. In his Independence speech from Red Fort, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi urged people to visit 15 domestic tourist destinations in India by 2022 to promote tourism. India ranked 34 in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 published by the World Economic Forum. India is the most digitally advanced traveller nation in terms of digital tools being used for planning, booking, and experiencing a journey. India’s rising middle class and increasing disposable income has supported the growth of domestic and outbound tourism.
In India, the industry’s direct contribution to the GDP is expected to record an annual growth rate of 10.35% between 2019 and 2028.
By 2028, Indian tourism and hospitality is expected to earn US$ 50.9 billion as visitor exports compared with US$ 28.9 billion in 2018.
The Indian airline travel market was estimated at ~US$ 20 billion and is projected to double in size by FY27 due to improving airport infrastructure and growing access to passports.
The Indian hotel market including domestic, inbound and outbound was estimated at ~US$ 32 billion in FY20 and is expected to reach ~US$ 52 billion by FY27, driven by the surging demand from travelers and sustained efforts of travel agents to boost the market.
The Tourism & Hospitality sector has seen some major developments, investments and support from the Government in the recent past.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in May 2022 were 423,701 with a positive growth rate of 2,043.7% as compared to 19,765 in May 2021.
The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India during May 2022 among the top 15 source countries was highest from USA (27.80%) followed by Bangladesh (23.47%), UK (7.58%), Australia (4.02%), Canada (3.65%), Sri Lanka (2.84%), Singapore (2.36%), Nepal (2.12%), Malaysia (1.66%), Germany (1.65%), France (1.47%), Maldives (1.26%), Portugal (1.13%), Oman (1.13%) and Korea (Rep of) (0.85%).
FDI inflows in the Tourism & Hospitality sector reached US$ 16.38 billion between April 2000-March 2022.
In the Union Budget 2022-23,Rs. 2,400 crore (US$ 309.13 million) has been allocated to the Ministry of Tourism which is 18.42 % higher than the allocation for FY 2021-22, Rs. 1,181.30 crore (US$ 152.16 million) is allocated for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Rs. 235 crore (US$ 30.27 million) for the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual and Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme.
A total of 46,873 accommodation units (both classified and unclassified) have been registered on the National Integrated Database of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) portal and 11140 units have self-certified for SAATHI standards.
In August 2022, Ministry of Tourism sanctioned 76 projects for Rs. 5,399.15 crore (US$ 678.39 million) under Swadesh Darshan Scheme for development of tourism infrastructure in the country. In June 2022, the Ministry of Tourism along with Associations of Indian Universities (AIU) initiated a 12 episode webinar series under ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ (AKAM) to engage and expose young minds of our country to the rich and diverse heritage of the country.
Accor, a French hospitality major will expand its India’s portfolio by adding nine additional hotels in the mid-scale and economy categories, bringing the total number of hotels 54 in India.
The travel market in India is projected to reach US$ 125 billion by FY27 from an estimated US$ 75 billion in FY20.
The Ministry of Tourism has approved 16 projects for over Rs. 1,300 crore (US$ 171.2 million) in India’s North East.