India is the largest democracy in the world. It is gifted with rich cultural heritage, splendid geographical location and wide variety of flora and fauna which makes it one of the finest destinations in the world to explore. In recent years, travel and tourism has become one of the largest service industries in India. The industry is set to grow at 7.5% in 2016 exceeding the previous year's growth rate of 6.9%. According to World Travel and Tourism Council's "Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2015" report the direct contribution of this industry to the country's GDP in 2014 was 2.2%. It is forecast that the contribution will rise significantly to 2.5% of total GDP in 2025. The improved connectivity, better lodging facility and favorable government policy on visa reforms like Visa-on-arrival have helped the Indian Tourism to thrive and flourish.
India is now one of the fastest growing outbound tourism markets in the world, second only to China. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. Despite the slowdown due to rupee fluctuations, the Indian outbound numbers have been growing with an average 10-12% annual growth over the last seven years. The market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 7.23% during 2016-2021. A growing, consumption-driven economy, a large and increasingly affluent middle class, and the ongoing liberalization of air transportation have contributed significantly to this growth in international outbound travel. Additional interest in niche tourism sectors such as medical, wellness and adventure tourism has also contributed to this growth. Increased smartphone and internet penetration have also contributed to an increased number of online bookings.
"Athithidevo Bhava" these are not only the two words but the complete gesture of hospitality in itself for the tourists of any place.
The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry. The hospitality industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or an amusement park consists of multiple groups such as facility maintenance and direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing, and human resources etc.). Hospitality Industry offers unlimited opportunities. It is one of the first businesses in history. Individuals have always gone out for work or leisure purpose - to enjoy with family/friends. Currently, this is a $61 billion business. Managing and selling services to individuals without negotiating on quality is a challenging issue. Bearing in mind the challenging issue of technology and globalization, it has become imperative for the Hospitality Industry to handle operations, marketing and human resources in an effective way. Hospitality Industry is accountable for employing individuals worldwide through tourism.
Definition of Tourism:
Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/ professional purposes. These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which imply tourism expenditure (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2008).
In simple words, travel and tourism are basically the opposite sides of the same coin, as travel gives us lifelong memories filled with adventure, on the other hand, tourism gives us the platform to fulfil our career goals in the field of Hospitality industry.
Travel and tourism industry in India
Indian Tourism is classified into four main categories North Indian, East Indian, West Indian and South Indian Tourism. Different parts of the country offer different experiences ranging from scenic beauty to ancient cultural heritage. All these mesmerize foreign visitors and motivate them to explore more of India. Travel and Tourism apart from generating revenue for the country also provide direct and indirect employment opportunity to millions of people. In recent years, data indicates the number of domestic tourist traffic has increased significantly and some of the reasons behind this is better road connectivity, evolving lifestyle of people, higher disposable income of the middle class segment, etc. Similarly for foreigners, India has become an attractive and affordable holiday destination. Development of key states like Rajasthan and Kerala as most popular holiday destinations coupled with successful implementation of "Incredible India" campaign
has provided further impetus to the sector.
Scope of Tourism Industry in India
Tourism in India is economically important and is growing rapidly. The World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated Rs. 15.24 lakh crore (US$230 billion) or 9.4% of the nation's GDP in 2017 and supported 41.622 million jobs, 8% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to Rs. 32.05 lakh crore (US$480 billion) by 2028 (9.9% of GDP). In October 2015, India's medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3 billion. It is projected to grow to $7-8 billion by 2020. In 2014, 184, 298 foreign patients travelled to India to seek medical treatment.
Common concepts taught in travel and tourism coursework are:
*Communication and custo-mer service skills
*Travel and transportation planning
Types of Tourism in India:
As a kind of tourism in India, adventure tourism has recently grown. This involves exploration of remote areas and exotic locales and engaging in various activities. For adventure tourism in India, tourists prefer to go for trekking to places like Ladakh, Sikkim, and Himalaya. Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are popular for the skiing facilities they offer. Whitewater rafting is also catching on in India and tourists flock to places such as Uttrakhand, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh for this adrenalin-packed activity.
India has a rich forest cover which has some beautiful and exotic species of wildlife - some of which are even endangered and very rare. This has boosted wildlife tourism in India. The places where a foreign tourist can go for wildlife tourism in India are Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and Corbett National Park.
Tourists from all over the world have been thronging to India to avail themselves of cost-effective but superior quality healthcare in terms of surgical procedures and general medical attention. There are several medical institutes in the country that cater to foreign patients and impart top-quality healthcare at a fraction of what it would have cost in developed nations such as USA and UK. The city of Chennai attracts around 45% of medical tourists from foreign countries.
India is famous for its temples and that is the reason that among the different kinds of tourism in India, pilgrimage tourism is increasing most rapidly. The various places for tourists to visit in India for pilgrimage are Vaishno Devi, Golden temple, Char Dham, and Mathura Vrindavan.
Among the types of tourism in India, ecotourism have grown recently. Ecotourism entails the sustainable preservation of a naturally endowed area or region. This is becoming more and more significant for the ecological development of all regions that have tourist value. For ecotourism in India, tourists can go to places such as Kaziranga National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park.
India is known for its rich cultural heritage and an element of mysticism, which is why tourists come to India to experience it for themselves. The various fairs and festivals that tourists can visit in India are the Pushkar fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund mela.
Role of travel and tourism industry in economic growth
*Employment generation: With the growth of hospitality/ tourism business, additional employment is created in a country. Several employment opportunities are offered by tourism business. These employment opportunities are related to different segments that are related to hospitality and tourism business.
*Infrastructure development: Most of the emerging countries build new highways, airports, hotels, lodges, restaurants, guesthouses and trekking ways to improve their tourism sector. These new developments are very vital to attract more number of tourists.
*Cultural development: Apart from these, tourists are known for being a central way to exchange culture and values. Hospitality tourism business benefits the local individuals to learn more about the different lifestyles and religions.
*Revenue Generation: Tourism and hospitality business in any country helps in creating more income for the locals. Tourists pay altered taxes to the government which helps the country to develop. Tourists also support the local traders to receive extra revenue and profits by shopping.
Travel and tourism as a career
The growth of tourism and hospitality business offers multiple opportunities to small operators and communities. This is why numerous developing as well as developed countries all around the world are encouraging this sector. Tourism and leisure includes all the economic and social activities associated with travelling experiences, recreation and the enjoyment of free time. Professionals in the field have the responsibility to maximize their clients' leisure experience, either through direct contact, or by efficiently managing the logistics and personnel involved in the leisure resorts or activities. They work in tourism and the travel industry, in organising various events or in sports and health centres.
List of Courses available:
Principles of Travel and Tourism
This course gives students the basics in navigating the travel and tourism industry. Students in these classes learn about the issues related to business and resource management, tourism's effect on the world economy and the political impact of tourism. Some introductory travel and tourism classes detail the many positions available for travel and tourism students; these include hotel manager, airline manager, event planner, travel agent and others. This class is mandatory.
This class provides students with a background in how to properly manage all aspects of travel, lodging, food services and event planning. Incorporating information technology into the hospitality industry is also discussed. This class also discusses the importance of leadership in the workplace and focuses on strategic decisions about business operations.
International tourism courses teach students about how global issues can impact the industry. Topics covered include politics, economics, sociology, environ-mental concerns and international tourism manage-ment. This class is usually required but can be taken anytime during a college career.
Financial Issues in Tourism
This course focuses on the business and financial decisions those employed in the tourism industry must make. Finance-related tourism courses are usually geared towards those interested in a career in tourism management and are similar to what one would see in a traditional business program. Topics of interest include business financing, construction, sales management and currency exchange. This class is usually required and taken in the junior or senior year.
Students in this class design travel and tourism plans for potential customers, developing their skills in geography, finance and marketing along the way. Sales techniques are also covered in this course. This class is usually offered for junior- and senior-year students.
Cruise Ship Industry
A handful of programs offer a class that focuses on the specifics of the cruise ship industry. Students learn to evaluate various cruise ships, plan cruise ship itineraries and discuss contemporary cruise ship issues. This class is offered as an elective and students who are interested in earning an official certificate from the Cruise Lines International Association can take it for credit.
Entering the field and Eligibility Criteria
The minimum eligibility criterion for taking admission to a tourism course at the under-graduate level is the completion of Class XII. Diploma, certificate, under-graduate or postgraduate programs can be a part of this budding industry. On the other hand if you're looking for an admission to postgraduate programmes, you must be a graduate from a recognised institute and also appear for an entrance test and clear the group discussions and Personal Interviews. Distance Learning programs in Tourism and Travel management are also provided by many institutes along degree courses, certificate courses,
PG Diploma and degree courses etc.
The following courses can be opted for by students wanting to be a part of the Travel and Tourism industry:
UG courses travel and tourism management
*Bachelor in Tourism Studies
PG courses travel and tourism management
*Master of Tourism Administr-ation
*Master in Travel Administr-ation
*M.A. in Tourism Management
Diploma courses travel and tourism management
*PG Diploma in Travel and Tourism
*Diploma in Tourism and Hotel Management
*Diploma in Airline, Travel and Tourism
There are many options to venture into to be a part of the tourism sector; public and private. The following are some of the profiles one can look into:
*Tourism Department: There are jobs as Reservation and counter staff, Sales and marketing staff, Tour Planners and Tour guides. There is also the requirement of Information assistants at the office of the Tourism departments who are selected through competitive examinations held by the Staff Selection Commission. The option of working as a Guide is also listed under the tourism department as the Ministry of Tourism recognizes three types of guides; regional, state and local.
*Airlines: One can opt between being the ground staff or in flight staff. Apart from working as Airhostess/ Stewards, you can look into the option of Traffic Assistance, Reservation and Counter Staff, etc.
*Hotels: The Hotel Industry being a service industry, serves the basic requirement of food and accommodation. One can choose from Operations, Front office, House keeping, Food and Beverages, Accounting, Engineering/ Maintenance, Sales, Public relations and Security, etc as one of the many departments to work with.
*Tour operators: They are the ones who help organize conducted tours to various tourist spots and manage the travel and stay of tourists.
*Travel Agents: Travel agents evaluate the requirements of tourists and businessmen and help them make the best possible travel arrangements from the many available. Many resorts, travel groups use travel agents to promote their tour packages to travelers.
*Transport: Apart from airlines, travelers require rail services, coach operators, car hire companies to go from one place to another - by air, road, railway, sea etc. All this is taken care by the ones handling transport.
Some Universities/ Institutes offering Travel and Tourism Courses
*Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management- Delhi, Gwalior, Bhubaneswar, Nellore
*Himachal Pradesh University- Shimla
*Banaras Hindu University
*Aligarh Muslim University
*Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies- Trivandrum
*National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Manage-ment- Hyderabad
*Dibrugarh University, Centre of Management Studies (CMS) - Dibrugarh, Assam
*Institute of Management Sciences (University of Lucknow) - Lucknow
*Institute of Management Studies (IMS) - Ghaziabad
*Regional College of Management (RCM)- Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Travel and Tourism industry: Road ahead
When we think of a passion and career options, Travel and Tourism is one of the best choice ever, as it provides the way of livelihood as well as adventurous life throughout. It is very well said that Travel brings power and love back to your life. Travel is not reward for working, it is education for living. Fill your life with experiences, not things, have stories to tell, not stuff to show off. We can always make more money. But we can't always make more memories. Sampling a little bit of everything is the real purpose of travelling. In the end we only regret the choices we didn't make. We can apply these lines everywhere, be it our personal or professional life or anything we can think about. The above lines very well represent the travel addiction of people in today's scenario and seems, it is the need of the hour as well.
India is expected to establish itself as the third largest travel and tourism economy by 2028 in terms of direct and total GDP, as per Economic Impact Report, 2018 by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Travel and Tourism industry has to be nurtured so that it attracts more FDI to help build the whole ecosystem surrounding this industry. According to a report on Tourism in India published in January 2015, going forward the domestic visitors will be contributing almost 85% share of expenditure by the year 2024 and remaining 15% by international visitors. Hence the travel and tourism sector is to increase its economic contribution and provide employment opportunities to the aspiring young population of the country. Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 94.6% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2016 (INR 12, 079.0bn) compared with 5.4% for business travel spending (INR 689.0bn). Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 6.9% in 2017 to INR 12, 910.2bn, and rise by 7.0% pa to INR 25, 391.1bn in 2027. Business travel spending is expected to grow by 5.5% in 2017 to INR7 26.6bn, and rise by 7.2% pa to INR1, 453.5bn in 2027. Domestic travel spending generated 88.0% of direct travel & Tourism GDP in 2016 compared with 12.0% for visitor exports (ie foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts). Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 7.0% in 2017 to INR12, 024.4bn, and rise by 7.1% pa to INR 23,942.9bn in 2027. Visitor exports are expected to grow by 5.4% in 2017 to INR 1,612.5bn, and rise by 6.1% pa to INR2,901.7bn in 2027. Visitor exports are a key component of the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism. In 2016, India generated INR1,529.3bn in visitor exports. In 2017, this is expected to grow by 5.4%, and the country is expected to attract 9,450,000 international tourist arrivals. Travel & Tourism is expected to have attracted capital investment of INR 2,284.9bn in 2016. This is expected to rise by 4.5% in 2017, and rise by 5.7% pa over the next ten years to INR 4,149.0bn in 2027.