Tourism in India
1. India Tourism Development Corporation was set up on October 1st , 1966.
2. As per UNWTO World Tourism Barometer India Ranks 42nd in the international tourism Arrivals in 2008. Top four countries are France, Spain, US & China. India’s rank in international tourism receipts was 20, while the top four countries with maximum receipts are US Spain France & Italy. Source of this info.
3. India maintained consistent high growth rate of 13.3 per cent, 13.5 per cent and 12.4 per cent in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively.
4. Tourist arrivals to India were down by more than 17 percent in January 2009 due to the global economic crisis as well as Terrorist Attack on Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2008. In December 2008, about 521,990 tourists came to India – a 12.5 percent decline compared to December 2007. In January this year, 487,262 travellers came to India, which was 17.6 percent decline compared to the same month of 2008. However in April 2009, some improvement had been witnessed with 370,756 tourists visiting India – a dip of just 3.5 percent.
5. As per estimates Tourism accounts for 12.2 % of Total World exports and 8.1% of Global Employment.
6. The Indian government is taking several steps to promote tourism in the country which has taken a knock following the global meltdown and the Mumbai terror attack such as announcement of various promotional schemes like Visit India Year 2009 to attract tourists to India. Under this scheme, travellers from abroad who visit India in 2009 will have a chance to get an extra sample of the country’s exotic adventure tourism and sublime eco, rural and wellness tourism in 2010 and 2011 too.
7. Tourism contributes 5.83% of India’s GDP.
8. Palace On Wheels :Palace on Wheels was started on the 26th January 1982.The concept of the Palace on Wheels was derived from the royal background of the coaches, which were originally meant to be the personal Railway coaches of the erstwhile rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India.
9. Village on Wheels : The Train “Village on Wheels” was flagged of from the Rajendra Nagar Station in Patna on 29th November, 2004 by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, with the purpose of promoting Tourism and National Integration.
10. National Tourism Policy : In 1982 National Tourism Policy was presented in Parliament in 1982.
11. A Draft New Tourism Policy of India was prepared in 2002
12. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 ranked tourism in India 6th in terms of price competitiveness and 39th in terms of safety and security. However, India’s tourism sector currently lags behind less endowed countries and faces serious challenges including shortage of hotel rooms. In 2007, there were only 25,000 tourist-class hotel rooms in the whole of India.
13. With India gearing up to host the Commonwealth Games next year, hoteliers in the country are rushing to make the most of the likely spurt in tourist traffic, leading to a boom in development
14. A survey by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC), the report said that between now and 2018, India will be a tourism hotspot followed by China, Libya and Vietnam.
15. Govt of India in March 2009 announced the approval of two port projects and five highways projects worth an estimated Rs5,220 crore under the public-private partnership model. The latest approvals bring the total number of projects approved by the public private partnership approval committee, which was set up in January 2006, to 101. The projects, estimated to have a combined cost of a at least Rs1 trillion, include 88 highway projects, nine ports projects, two airport projects and one each in tourism infrastructure and railways.
16 . Royal Rajasthan : After success of Palace on wheels the government of India launched one more royal tourist train called Royal Rajasthan on January 11, 2009. Royal Rajasthan is a joint venture by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and the Indian Railways. The newly launched tourist train is supposed to provide support to Palace on Wheels. India’s first luxury train, Palace on Wheels is booked till 2010. Royal Rajasthan is on seven-day stint to the land of maharajas, Rajasthan. The luxury train will regularly leave Delhi and start on its week-long journey through Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Sawai Madhopur among other places before terminating the run at Delhi.
17 .Tourism department classified hotels under star system in 6 categories, which are from 1 star to five star plus a Heritage hotel category.
18. Tourism Finance Corporation of India: The Government of India had, in pesuance to the recommendations of the National Committee on Tourism viz Yunus Committee set up under the aegis of Planning Commission, decided in 1988 to promote a separate All-India Financial Institution for providing financial assistance to tourism-related activities/projects. TFCI was incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Companies Act, 1956 on 27th January 1989 and became operational with effect from 1st February 1989 on receipt of Certificate of the Commencement of Business from the Registrar of Companies. TFCI has been notified as a Public Financial Institution under section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956. Its headquarters are in New Delhi.
19. Golden Triangles: The most famous tourism circuit in India is Golden Triangle which comprises Delhi Agra and Jaipur. Government of India is considering also another Golden triangle in South India at Chennai, Bangalore and Thiruvanantpuram
20. The Deccan Odyssey: Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd in association with Indian Railways – Ministry of Tourism has launched a Super Deluxe luxury train “The Deccan Odyssey”. The train has been benchmarked against the best luxury trains in the world like the Blue Train of South Africa, The Orient Express of Europe and the Eastern and Oriental of South East Asia. January 16th, 2004 Deccan Odyssey started its maiden journey from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus(CST)Mumbai.
21. Golden Chariot: The Golden Chariot is a luxury tourist train that connects the important tourist spots in the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa. It is named after the Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi.
22. Fairy Queen: The oldest working steam locomotives in the world, the Fairy Queen made its maiden journey in the year 1855 for the erstwhile East Indian Railway. And rightly so, the Fairy Queen today holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest locomotive in regular operation. It used to travel on the Howrah-Raniganj line and later in Bihar till 1908. In July 1997, the Indian Railway restarted its operation as a heritage train from Delhi to Alwar and from there the tourists are taken to world famous Sariksa Wildlife Sanctuary. It operates on the 2nd and the 4th Saturday of the months of October to March.
23. Mahaparinirvan Express : The Mahaparinirvan Express is a special tourist train that takes passengers on a spiritual tour through Buddhist India, where Buddhism originated more than 2,500 years ago. The train gets its name from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, which contains the Buddha’s final explanation of his teachings. Its sacred journey includes visits to the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Lumbini (where the Buddha was born), Bodhgaya (where he became enlightened), Varanasi (where he first preached), and Kusinagar (where he passed away and achieved nirvana).Mahaparinirvan Express, special tourist train on Buddhist circuit has got National Tourism Award on march 3, 2009.
24. Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) : IATO is the national apex body of the tourism industry. Founded on 13th January1982 with just seven members, it has now over 4000 members from different segments of the tourism industry like travel agents, hotels, airlines, government tourism departments/ development corporations, educational institutions, transport operators and both national and international tour operators.
IATO has been the forum for the Tourism Industry for addressing crucial industry issues, at various levels. During the 1982 convention, IATO’s demand for the Tourism Industry’s recognition as EXPORTERS was finally accepted by the Government in 2002! IATO has constantly been discussing important issues at different fora and with persistent persuasion have attained the unique position of being the Industry’s prime contact with the Government.
While the Industry’s issues are the prime focus of IATO as the National apex Body, IATO has whole heartedly participated in its Social Obligations. IATO has supported all major National Causes, contributed by Relief emergency operations in National Crisis and calamities. IATO has also been actively involved in development of Professional Human Resources in the Tourism Industry, by providing on the Job Training to the students from Different Tourism Institutes and organizing special need based courses for training in the Industry.
25. TAAI : Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) was formed towards the end of the year 1951 by a group of twelve leading Travel agents, who felt that the time had come to create an Association to regulate the Travel industry in India. The primary purpose was to protect the interests of those engaged in the industry, to promote its orderly growth and development and to safeguard the rights of the traveling public. TAAI represents all that is professional, ethical and dynamic in our nation’s Travel related activity and has been recognised as the voice of the Travel and Tourism industry in India. With a membership data base of over 2400 Active; Allied and Associate members comprising of IATA accredited Travel Agencies; Airlines & General Sales Agencies; Hotels and Tour operators; TAAI is the largest Travel Association of India.
26. IITTM : Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is one of the premier institutes in the country offering education, training, research and consultancy in sustainable management of tourism, travel and other allied sectors. The stakeholders’ realization that the country is in need of such professionals who can provide an excellent standard of products and services, resulted in the creation of IITTM in 1983 at New Delhi
27. FHRAI : Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India, often known by the acronym, FHRAI, is the Apex Body of the four Regional Associations representing the Hospitality Industry. FHRAI provides an interface between the Hospitality Industry, Political Leadership, Academics, International Associations and other Stake Holders. Established in the year 1955, FHRAI was sponsored by the four Regional Associations representing the Eastern, Northern, Western and Southern regions of India. The Memorandum of Association was signed by the doyens of the Industry on 15th April, 1955.
28. On November 29, 2007 India was unanimously elected chairman of the Executive Council of the General Assembly of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)in its 82nd meeting held at Cartegena de Indias, Colombia.