Tourism industry: Indian economic growth (GS paper 3,UPSC IAS mains )

Since centuries, India’s fabled culture and traditions have attracted people from all over the world. Today India is one of the most visited nations in the world with an average of 9% of GDP in form of tourism in India.

India’s potential to become a bigger and larger tourist hub is paramount and largely rests on the fact of its stable government and good reputation in the world
The potential and prospects
With many monuments and natural sights throughout the nation, it can uniformly attract tourists to all states and ensure more development.
Tourism can serve a dual purpose of state development to accommodate influx of tourists and as a result help in the state’s growth.
With unemployment at 18% on average, the tourism sector can provide jobs like Guides, translators and Travel agents.
It can help India gather recognition for its most scenic and beautiful areas.
States can ease their fiscal deficits by more influx of foreign exchange and tourist proceeds.
However, there are also certain issues that plague Indian tourism as
Safety – Tourists have frequently been mugged and robbed or cheated in India and also have returned without any justice.
Sanitation and health – Lack of sanitation in cities has caused a negative imagine upon Indian food and public health care.
Access – Certain areas of India still lack electricity, access and proper rest houses.
Environmental damage – Tourism has caused environmental damage in the hills and the beaches.

With schemes like HRIDAY and Circuit tours, the sector can get many benefits also through sanitation drives like SBM, some issues can be solved. Moreover, a targeted approach is necessary for those who arrive in India to reap maximum dividends.