Jaipur: Tourism in India has generated $247.3 billion in 2018, with a growth of 6.7 per cent and accounting for 9.2 per cent of the total economy, according to FICCI-Yes Bank Knowledge Report ‘India Inbound Tourism: Unlocking the Opportunity’ which was released at the 11th edition of The Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) 2019 in Jaipur.

Currently, India is the 8th largest country in terms of contribution to travel and tourism GDP and the largest market in South Asia. By 2029, Indian tourism sector is likely to grow at 6.7 per cent per annum to reach Rs. 35 trillion with 9.6 per cent of GDP, the report said. Rajasthan’s luxury train, Palace on Wheels (POW) bagged deal worth Rs. 5.2 crore during the GITB 2019 on account of 20 per cent advance bookings for the next two seasons of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

GITB is organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) jointly with the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. It is supported by leading national and regional associations like Hotel & Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR), Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO).

The report further highlights that the tourism sector generated 26.7 million jobs in 2018. By 2029, the sector is expected to provide employment to nearly 53 million people, directly and indirectly. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) crossed 10 million in 2017 and the growth trend is expected to continue. Consumption by domestic tourists remains the key strength of the sector in India, much stronger than the global average. Growing disposable income, increase in new millennial tourists, new travel destinations as well as new themes of tourism will further propel the growth.

The report also states that the systematic growth, maintenance and sustainable development of tourism destinations as well as focus on promoting the emerging avenues of tourism will be essential towards unlocking its true potential.

The growth in Indian travel and tourism sector has largely been driven by domestic tourists. Foreign tourists still account for a limited share as compared to some of the top-ranking countries. The government intends to achieve the ambitious target of 1 per cent foreign tourist arrivals in world’s international tourist arrivals by 2020 and increase it to 2 per cent by 2025.

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