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Not many people know that January 25 is celebrated as National Tourism Day in India. It is a day that has been marked by the Indian government in order to promote tourism within the country. It’s a day dedicated to educating people about the importance of tourism and the role it plays in the Indian economy. It is perhaps the best day to know how amazing a country India is when it comes to travel and tourism. Many of us dream of visiting alluring destinations abroad without considering how much there is to see in our own country. Year after year, India has captured the fascination of many foreign travelers. People from Israel, USA, England, Australia, New Zealand flock India for its historical, cultural and spiritual heritage. Here are some interesting facts about Indian tourism that you must not miss! Also Read - WTC Final: Tim Southee Breaks Ricky Ponting's Massive Record, Inches Close to MS Dhoni's Tally
Tourism’s contribution to GDP
Tourism plays a huge role in boosting India’s economy. According to reports, the travel and tourism industry contributed a total of $124.8 billion to GDP in India in 2015. That means close to 6 per cent of India’s total GDP was from travel and tourism. It reiterates the fact that tourism needs to be taken seriously. It makes sense that the government is taking great efforts to make sure that the country gets cleaner, more amenities and facilities are introduced at railway stations and public places, and general safety measures are undertaken at popular spots. Also Read - WTC Final: Mohammed Shami's Pace Did Not Drop - VVS Laxman Hails Fast Bowler's Breathtaking Spell
One of the fastest-growing tourism sector worldwide
In comparison to the rest of the world, India’s tourism sector is growing at a very impressive rate. According to a study conducted in 2014, India was one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations worldwide. It featured eleventh in the list but what is most promising is that the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in India was expected to grow an average of 6.4 per cent annually between 2014 and 2024. Now, that is quite something, isn’t it? India has been a popular tourist spot for many western travelers and the number of tourists is growing every year. With great attractions like the Taj Mahal in Agra, Qutub Minar in Delhi, the ancient stupas at Sanchi and the party hub of Goa, India is a delight for vacationers.
Jobs in Tourism
Jobs is a major factor in the economy of any country. In India, tourism is responsible for a large number of jobs. Statistically, tourism in India provides 40 million jobs. That makes it one of the biggest job-providers of the country. Be it major pilgrim spots like Kedarnath or party destinations like Goa, there are ample employment opportunities in the travel and tourism industry in India. From workers in restaurants and hotels to guides at historical monuments and vehicle operators to souvenir shop owners, a number of people rely on tourism for their bread and butter. The tourism sector is expected to grow at an annual average rate of 7.9 per cent till 2023. This makes India the third fastest-growing tourism destination over the coming decade.
Employee percentage in tourism
In the year 2015, the tourism industry provided more than 23.5 million jobs in India. This means that over 7.7 per cent of Indian employees work in the tourism industry. That means a considerable portion of India’s workforce is in the tourism sector. This makes travel and tourism an extremely important sector since it absorbs such a huge number of young Indians. With the growth in tourism and the number of employment opportunities in the sector, this workforce percentage is bound to increase.
One of the events that are synonymous with India is the great Kumbh Mela. It is known to be the largest religious gathering of people. In 2011, the Kumbh Mela witnessed over 75 million pilgrims. The gathering was so huge that the crowd was actually even visible from space. Not only is the Kumbh Mela of great religious significance, but it is also one of the most commercial events of India’s tourism sector as it involves a huge amount of money and people.
Largest Postal Network
It is worth noting that India has the largest postal network in the world. Take a guess at the number of post offices India is home to! There are over 1, 55,015 of them! One post office serves around 7,175 people on an average. This kind of efficiency is quite unparalleled.
USA is the largest market
While India attracts tourists from all over the world, there are some countries that have a special affection towards the country. The largest source market for visitors to India was the United States of America, followed by Bangladesh and the UK. Reports forecast outbound travel from India to reach 1.41 million in 2020 which is quite impressive given that travel has not been part of India’s culture as much as it has been in the west. Slowly, more and more backpackers, honeymooners and family vacationers from India are taking trips abroad even as the number of foreign tourists to India keeps increasing.
Tourist arrivals at an all-time high
India has always been a hot destination for people across the globe. With successful films like Lagaan, Slumdog Millionaire, and Eat Pray Love, more and more people from all over the world have taken a liking towards India and have started planning trips to this lovely destination which makes for an amazing budget trip for them. Tourist arrival in India increased to 8,91,000 in November from 7,54,000 in October 2016. From 2000 until 2016, it averaged 4,26,846.43. This number reached an all-time high of 9,13,000 in December 2015 from a record low of 1,29,286 in May 2001. It is an exciting time for tourism in India and it only seems to be getting better.