Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Incredible India 2.0 Plan

Travel and tourism has employed more than 42 million people in India or accounted approximately for 8.1% of the total employment opportunities. It contributed 9.3% to India’s Gross Domestic Product last year and received 5.9% of total investments.
By IASToppers
June 17, 2020

Content

  • Introduction
  • Untapped Potential
  • Contribution in Economy
  • Recent achievements
  • Way Forward
  • Conclusion

Incredible India 2.0 Plan

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Introduction:

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every sector, but the one which has been hit hard is the travel, tourism and hospitality sector. With the proper compliances, safety and sanitisation measures, and Standard Operating Procedures for responsible reopening being issued, these sectors are expected to resume soon.

Untapped Potential:

  • Travel, tourism, and hospitality have an immense multiplier effect on the economy.
  • These are sectors that can exponentially create jobs, and India needs high-quality job creation now.
  • It can accelerate the path to 9-10% annual growth and add millions of high-quality jobs each year.
  • Given that 72% of India’s population is below 32 years, and the average age is 29, tourism is the perfect fit for the future generation.
  • However, the tourism and hospitality sector in India is relatively untapped.

Contribution in Economy:

  • Travel and tourism has employed more than 42 million people in India or accounted approximately for 8.1% of the total employment opportunities.
  • It contributed 9.3% to India’s Gross Domestic Product last year and received 5.9% of total investments.
  • India has recently become a major player in the culinary ecosystem, making restaurants a ~4,25,000 crore market. They create millions of jobs and have a massive multiplier impact as well.
  • The sector not only provides high-quality jobs and countless synergies, it also enhances investment into India, accelerates development, and showcases India’s unique treasures.

Recent achievements:

  • India is ranked third in the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)’s Travel and Tourism Power Ranking.
  • The rankingassesses 185 countries on the basis of four key sector ingredients: Total travel and tourism GDP, foreign visitor spending, domestic spending, and travel and tourism capital investment.
  • India is now ranked behind only China and the United States.
  • The World Economic Forum conducts a biennial study across 14 vital parameters in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness.
  • India has improved by 12 places over the last two years, now ranking 40th out of 136 countries.
  • This is encouraging and makes the sector essential to the new India’s growth story.

Way Forward:

1. Focus on Internal Tourism:

  • PM Modi in his Independence Day speech 2019 emphasised the importance of making India a global hub for tourism, urging each citizen to visit 15 tourist destinations in India by 2022.
  • With an inward focus on travel, we must convert this into an opportunity and advance our domestic tourism and hospitality sectors.

2. Promotion Campaign:

  • India has amazing diversity, from 38 UNESCO World Heritage sites to the Himalayas to pristine beaches, and plenty of other natural assets.
  • Systematic tourism promotion campaigns will be important to attract tourists.
  • A domestic-focused Incredible India 2.0 that showcases what the nation offers to Indians could be the post-pandemic plan for the sector.

3. Collaboration:

  • All the stakeholders including Indian entrepreneurs, global entities, domestic and foreign tourists, and the government machinery must work together in unison to accelerate growth in the sector.

4. Infrastructure:

  • The government has taken efficient steps to increase the infrastructural connectivity of Indian Tourists spots around the country.
  • After the success of the UDAN scheme (aimed to enhance airport capacity, expand regional connectivity and affordable air transport), the government can focus on the earlier plans of launching 100 tourism-oriented trains.
  • The infrastructural development can be seen by highways, roads, and ports, highlighted by the Bharatmala and Sagarmala projects.
  • The Airports Authority of India has estimated capital spending targets of more than ~20,000 crore by 2022, and more than 70 regional airports that are under-utilised will be developed.

5. Holistic Island Development plan:

  • The Holistic Island Development plan is an ambitious policy directive focusing on the Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) and Lakshadweep Islands.
  • It addresses tourism-based projects that automatically create jobs for the islanders, and enhance connectivity through key infrastructure projects.

Conclusion:

Travel and tourism will be the key driver for high-quality employment and unparalleled sustainable growth for the next 30 years. Despite challenges, as we responsibly reopen, the opportunities for the sector to help growth will continue to increase, and the domestic demand will help build confidence in the sector’s revival. A responsible and phased recovery is imminent for the sector which has the potential to become the biggest job creator for India.

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