Tourism Sector

Process of sustainable tourism should be holistic and inclusive


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Incredible India

To other Country, I may go as a tourist. But to India I come as a pilgrim”, the words of Martin Luther King says a lot about India’s wisdom and tourism potential.


  • The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Minister was held at Dharamshala , a first of its kind meeting aimed  to discuss, debate and deliberate on modes and mechanisms to develop tourism in India .
  • The three-day National Conference concluded with the adoption of “Dharamshala Declaration” which affirms commitment toward developing “sustainable and responsible tourism” and positions India as a “global leader in the tourism sector by 2047”.

What is tourism?

  • Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours.

Types of tourism

  • Domestic tourism: Refers to activities of a visitor within their country of residence and outside of their home (e.g. a Indian visiting other parts of India)
  • Inbound tourism: Refers to the activities of a visitor from outside of country of residence (e.g. a Spaniard visiting Britain).
  • Outbound tourism: Refers to the activities of a resident visitor outside of their country of residence (e.g. an Indian visiting an overseas country).

tourismWhat does sustainable tourism mean?

  • Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

What is the main importance of tourism?

  • Tourism boosts the revenue of the economy, creates thousands of jobs, develops the infrastructures of a country, and plants a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens.

tourismWhy tourism is needed?

  • Tourism is not a fad. It is a compulsion driven by the urge to discover new places. Because we have this compulsion to venture into the unknown, we need each other. When humans travel, meet and exchange ideas, civilization flourishes.

What is “The Dharamshala Declaration” is all about?

  • Aim of the declaration: The Dharamshala Declaration aims to recognise India’s role in contributing towards global tourism as well as focusing on recovery by also promoting domestic tourism.
  • Action plan: In the declaration, the Tourism Ministry has come up with a with a action plan to encourage more Indians to travel domestically and explore India’s natural, cultural, and spiritual beauty while simultaneously reaching the goal of an ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ (interaction and mutual understanding).
  • Strategy: The Tourism Ministry has also been working with the Ministry of External Affairs to identify 20 Indian missions abroad with the highest tourist footfalls to India and build country-specific strategies to attract foreign tourists.
  • Plan according to G-20: The Dharamshala Declaration affirms the plan to position India as a major tourism destination during its presidency of G-20 next year. India’s age-old dictum of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ will come to the fore as it welcomes delegates from the 20 countries/European Union.
  • Necessary steps: The Ministry of Tourism also plans to work with other Ministries to bring in necessary interventions such as visa reforms, ease of travel, travel-friendly and improved immigration facilities at airports.
  • National Tourism policy: Drafted with a holistic vision and strategy to revive India’s tourism and targets to contribute USD 1 trillion to the GDP by 2047.

tourismA draft on National Tourism Policy 2022

  • Framework:
  • Draft on National Tourism Policy 2022 aims at improving the framework conditions for tourism development in the country.
  • Supporting tourism industries, strengthening tourism support functions and developing tourism sub-sectors.
  • Impetus to digitalisation, innovation and technology through the National Digital Tourism Mission and skilling through the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Mission.
  • The policy also gives a special impetus to private sector participation through public-private-partnerships (PPP)
  • Guiding Principles :
  • Promoting sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism in line with our civilisational ethos From Gautama to Gandhi, India has always spoken about the inherent need to live harmoniously with nature and within our means.
  • The National Green Tourism Mission aims at institutionalising green approach.

tourismTourism Potential in India

  • Employement generation: India has huge tourism potential. If capitalised properly it can emerge as one of the leading sectors to contribute to GDP and also has the potential to augment employment.
  • The Pandemic cost and recovery: The pandemic has caused conspicuous losses for this sector but over the past few months, all the major tourism indices such as domestic air passenger traffic, hotel occupancy and tourist footfalls have shown signs of recovery and are going back to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Short term estimate: By 2024, in short term the country is estimated to contribute USD 150 billion to the GDP from tourism, USD 30 billion in Foreign Exchange earnings and can get 15 million foreign tourist arrivals..
  • Medium term by 2030: It is estimated to grow at seven to nine per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate in the coming decade. In the medium term, that is 2030, the tourism-related goals are USD 250 billion GDP contribution; 137 million jobs, 56 million foreign tourist arrivals and USD 56 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
  • Visionary schemes: The visionary schemes like Swadesh Darshan or Dekho Apna Desh have the potential to increase tourism value while maintaining cultural integrity and ecological sustainability of the places.
  • Dekho Apna Desh: Dekho apna desh rolled out in 2020 envisages encouraging domestic tourism, urging people to visit places in India. India is a land of rich cultural heritage.


  • If the goal of positioning of India as one of the world’s best tourism destinations by 2047, there is need to integrate various schemes of different ministries. Need to involve various stakeholders, and local communities; necessary interventions at urban and rural level should be a priority.

Mains Question

Q.Since the positive and negative outcomes of tourism depend on human factors, including the attitude and behavior of both tourists and hosts, in this context discuss India’s potential to become a global leader in tourism sector.

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