New Delhi, April 24, 2017: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has recommended to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the announcement of National Tourism Policy in the year 2017. It is to be recalled that the draft of the policy had already been prepared in 2015 and had been distributed to the stakeholders for their inputs. The recommendation has been mooted in the FICCI-YES Bank report – ‘India Inbound Tourism: The Next Growth Trajectory’ released in the inaugural session of the Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) 2017 last evening. The report states that the draft policy reflects the evolving paradigm of the industry and has also suggested several developmental initiatives. FICCI has urged that the draft be finalized as a time-bound mission so that the policy can be released this year itself. The Policy will provide right impetus and direction to the state tourism policies as well. Furthermore, it will also ensure fast pace implementation of several key initiatives and institutional reforms proposed in the Draft Tourism Policy. The other recommendations in the report relating to policy and regulatory interventions pertain to setting up of a National Tourism Authority, increasing budget allocation to tourism industry, suggesting lower GST slabs for tourism sector and increasing application window for e-visa from 1 month to 6 months. It also urges for promoting hassle free travel by increasing e-visas to more countries. Snapshot of key statistics indicate that there is a rising trend of Tourism in India. India has also jumped 12 positions and stands at the 40th rank in Tourism & Travel competitive index, 2017 now.

World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) research forecasts that between 2016 and 2026, the 10 fastest growing destinations for leisure-travel spending will be India. The shifts suggest that developing and emerging countries are catching up by providing better conditions to develop their Travel and Tourism competitiveness and, therefore, becoming better prepared to attract and welcome the millions of new tourists who will travel for the first time in the coming decade.

Tourism’s contribution to capital investment is projected to grow 6.3 % p.a. during 2016–26, higher than the global average of 4.5%. Contribution of visitor exports to total exports is estimated to increase 7.2 % p.a. during 2016–2026 compared to the world average of 4.3% pa. By 2025, Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India are expected to reach 15.3 million, according to the WTO. Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) during the period January- February 2017 were ` 31,357 crore with a growth of 14.9%, as compared to the foreign exchange earnings of 27,296 crore with a growth of 15.0% in January-February 2016 over January-February 2015.

India ranked 3rd among 184 countries in terms of travel and tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2016. The sector’s direct contribution to GDP is expected to grow by 8.6% p.a. during 2016–20. Employment Generation within Indian tourism sector estimated to support 38.4 million jobs by 2016 which have been further forecasted to reach approx 46 million jobs by 2026. Domestic travel spending generated 82.5% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2015 compared with 17.5% for visitor exports. Domestic travel spending is expected to rise by 7.8% pa to ` 13,305.5bn in 2026 while visitor exports are expected to rise by 7.2% pa to ` 2,625.6 bn in 2026.

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