Dr. Mukund Gupta
Research Scholar in Smart City Development
Dr. P. Sekhar
Chairman of Global Smart Cities Panel & Micro Tech Global Foundation
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. The total contribution by the travel and tourism sector to India’s GDP is expected to increase from INR. 15,24,000 crore (»US$ 234.03 billion) in 2017 to INR. 32,05,000 crore (»US$ 492.21 billion) in 2028. According to WTTC, India ranked 3rd among 185 countries in terms of travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2018.
Travel and tourism are the third largest foreign exchange earner for India. During 2018, FEEs from tourism increased by 4.70% year-on-year to US$28.59 billion. FEEs for the duration of January to April is US$9.85 billion. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) increased 5.20% year-on-year to 10.56 million in the same period. International Tourist’s arrival is expected to reach 30.5 million by 2028. Foreign tourist arrivals for medical purposes increased from 427,014 in 2016 to 495,056 in 2017(P). During 2018, arrivals through e-tourist visas increased 39.60% year-on-year to 2.37 million. During May 2019, arrivals through e-tourist visas increased by 21.70% year-on-year to 1.23 million.
During January-April 2019, Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) were 39.35 lakh with a growth of 1.9%. Under the Swadesh Darshan and Prashad scheme, various projects have been sanctioned of worth INR. 550 crore (»US$ 78.70 million). As of 2017-18, 81.1 million people are employed in the tourism sector in India which was 12.38% of total employment in the country. The Government of India has set a target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) by 2020 and double the foreign exchange earnings as well.
Needs of Skill in the Tourism Sector
Nowadays traveler has changed both in behavior and in values and this demands certain changes in the product hardware and software. This can be especially observed in the luxury, golf and spa business, but also incorporate travel. Consequently, recruitment and training demands have changed as well and training methods have to be adapted to scarce time and budget in the fast-moving environment. While training can be comprehensive and intensive, the fundamental challenge is that genuine interest and caring cannot be taught.
Training and qualifications for those employed in branches of the industry such as services, planning, and marketing are key factors for successful penetration of this market segment. Central training topics here are the needs of guests with disabilities, communication, the market potential, barriers existing along the service chain and how they can be overcome, marketing and program design. Elderly and disabled guests rely on the availability of barrier-free tourism facilities, while travelers with heavy luggage or families with children in pushchairs also stand to benefit from better accessibility.
Besides it also addresses the importance of the driver, driver-guide and tour director or tour guide and their role in creating a positive and memorable experience for their guests. Interactive exercises provide participants with real-world simulations that help them to practice and integrate their newly acquired skills. Experience has shown that when the driver, driver guides adhere to the principles they have learned, they will enjoy their work more, receive increased gratuities and ultimately generate more business for the hospitality company.
Function-wise distribution of Human Resource in Travel and Tour Operators Segment
Secured Governance – Roadmap to a Prospering Tourism Industry
Secured Governance is a concerted strategy of national progress through viable, sustainable relationships between various sectors. Secured Governance facilitates balanced growth through equitable and responsive convergence of various sectors, entailing higher inter-dependability, sharper risk assessment, greater technical security measures, and comprehensive incident response mechanisms.
The principles of Secured Governance can be effectively applied to the tourism industry since it has many beneficiary sectors across the entire spectrum of the economy. These beneficiary industries are linked through the supply chain to the tourism industry (indirect linkages) as well as through tourism-earned incomes spent across various sectors. The objective of Secured Governance is to enhance economic growth through tourism development based on advanced technology, inter-state / inter-agency coordination and communications applications.
Implementing Secured Governance in Tourism
Tourism HUBs developed under the Secured Governance mechanism will create safe and efficient corridors for travelers within and through the region and increase tourism spending by enhancing the tourist experience. Secured Governance can be implemented in the tourism industry through the concept of ‘Tourism Hubs’, which are defined as ‘high-quality tourism destinations’, facilitating public utility space for travelers while promoting employment and generating revenues from the defined region.
Existing tourist destinations can be evolved and newer ones can be developed into ‘Tourism Hubs’ through the introduction of state-of-art tourist infrastructure and services and commercial amenities in the areas of communication, connectivity, hospitality, transportation, health, etc. These HUBs would thrive on public-private partnerships and play an important role in enhancing the momentum of national tourism development.
The theory entails focused progression, i.e. development of select, scientifically-recognized tourist centers instead of spreading limited resources over a large number of circuits. This will lead to diversification from the one-dimensional sightseeing tourism to a wholesome holiday experience for visitors through conscious attention to the aesthetic, environmental and socio-cultural implications of tourism projects. In addition, these HUBs will provide major impetus in the conservation of the national heritage of the country.
The tourism industry is a veritable gold mine, waiting to be explored. It is identified as one of the top six priority areas in the New Growth Path for the promotion of economic development and job creation. There is a growing concern from the public sector about the increased reliance on imported labor to fill skilled local job positions. Through scientific planning and methodical implementation of the concept of Secured Governance, India can become an exclusive global tourist destination. The approach will help diversify and stabilize the economy, encourage civic involvement and pride, promote community beautification and revitalization, generate a significant economic impact by increasing revenues and boosting forex volumes while inducing greater employment and business opportunities for the citizens of the country. Besides the tourism curriculum and skills development programs be designed in a manner that addresses the needs of the sector, thus bridging the gap between the education system and the workplace – preparing the graduates for employment.
Secured governance strategy designed a self – sustained revolutionary model for sustainable revenue from tourism sector for national growth. The property of being close to the tourism HUB will be increased many folds which is the fundamental axiom. The government can utilize the enhanced land values for infrastructure development of a project and other developmental activities. With improved resource allocation, enhanced governance, Interdependency among sectors and transparency in the system going hand in hand with Information Technology and Innovation can deliver a safer, cleaner and more accountable delivery of self-sustaining tourism infrastructure and services. Moreover, this sector will grow many folds along with other supporting sectors such as transport, manufacturing, communication, power, education, healthcare, etc. A high degree of technical integration and economic interdependence in modern societies will also increase uncertainty regarding where risks begin and end, and help them judiciously plan and be prepared for even minor events and rings in society participation in nation-building Process.