India, widely recognised as the land of yoga and curry, is writing new plans to develop tourism. The new government is actively involved in promoting tourism by introducing various programmes and services to attract tourists. Nationwide cleanliness drives, national budget allocations to restore heritage sites and making locals responsible to deal with foreign nationals are a few things that the current government seems to implement since their election. After all, India is a beautiful land with immense diversity, godly mountains, strong religious practices and endless love. And everyone on this planet deserves to see and experience this colourful land, don’t we?
The government is taking steps to develop tourism realizing its recreation potential and the revenue it can generate for the nation. Last year, seven million foreign tourists arrived in India generating a forex revenue of INR 1, 07, 671 crore ($17, 340 million). The domestic tourists contributed 6.74 percent to the GDP proving its potential to generate greater revenue and build infrastructure in order to improve tourism. Now you understand how we, backpackers help in building a nation’s revenue?
Apart from new programmes and new employments, the central government has launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization on 27th November, 2014 for nationals from 43 countries now, as compared to 12 countries earlier. Foreign tourists can apply for a tourist visa and get extra information on the necessary details on the TVoA website. Government has also announced to create 5 tourist circuits around various themes across India with a INR 500 crore budget. These circuits will let tourists experience unique culture, visit historic places and beautiful heritage sites.
India is a very diverse country. Every state is drastically different from the other when it comes to food, culture, language, architecture and beliefs. Every state tourism department has a different strategy to promote tourism to let travellers witness varied experiences. Maharashtra Tourism’s MD, Paraag Jainn Nainuttia, in an interview with DNA said, “Maharastra state is fortunate to have various natural tourist destinations which other states lacks of. We will fill the gap where there is a lacuna. We have extensive plans to launch floatel in almost all our sea shore of Mumbai and other prominent places of Maharashtra. We are contemplating on various segments of tourism like, wine tasting and crushing, boating, tiger sanctuary, sea-plane, paragliding and adventure sports to name a few.”
Other states are attracting tourists by unique programmes and services. Uttarakhand government on Saturday launched its ambitious “Himalaya Darshan” programme as part of its ongoing efforts to boost tourism in the state. Jammu and Kashmir is promoting tourism by participating in various trade fairs. Andhra Pradesh in their new plan is promoting itself as a “sunrise state” and expect to attract an investment of Rs 10,000 crore to develop tourism infrastructure. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India is discussing tourism in his foreign tours. In his recent visit to Manipur, stressed on the need to augment road connectivity for tourism to flourish in state.
The number of tourists arriving in India grows by almost 8 percent every year relatively growing the revenue generated from tourism. To cater to this growing audience, India needs more human resource. Tourism supported approximately 40 million jobs last year. This number is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.9% till 2023. That’s India employing 3 million people every year to handle tourists.
With new employment to cater to tourists and new services to explore different circuits, India seems to be a promising location for backapacking in the coming years. Let’s hope we have better reasons to leave from India for its beauty will not let you go back!