In 2019, India received 11 million inbound tourists. This also includes people visiting friends and families here. India holds 1% share of the international tourism market in the pre-Covid period.
Regular international flights have already started. The industry must ensure that the entire industry is fully vaccinated as a priority. This sends an audible message that anyone assisting a tourist at the airport or elsewhere is fully vaccinated.
India’s success in improving connectivity in recent years would be very helpful now that the world is rebounding and tourism is reopening. India has 140 airports, 20 of which have international take-off and landing capability. The country has the second largest road network after the United States, as about 36 km of roads are built every day.
When it comes to inbound tourism, from October, 30-40% of business from what we had in the pre-Covid era would come to India, according to industry experts. However, the cost of India tour packages post Covid-19 has increased by 25-30% due to increased fuel prices, transport costs and hotel rates. Domestic flights in India are expensive. India should subject aviation jet fuel (ATF) to GST so that the cost of ATF will come down.
Pre-Covid, the number of domestic tourist visits to India is around 2.3 billion, or almost one and a half visits per person, making India the second highest market for domestic visits. But compared to the United States and China, the number of visits per person was almost six for American citizens and almost four for Chinese domestic visits. While the number of domestic tourists in India is high, the average value and expenditure per tourist is low.
To seize the opportunity, the government as well as the industry will have to rise to the challenge of transforming India’s top 20 destinations into world-class tourist attractions. This requires an integrated, cross-sector approach and investments from the government to build supporting infrastructure, exceptional service and industry customer experience that can propel domestic tourism in India like never before.
Indian tourist, visiting domestic destination has high opportunity cost and it kills domestic tourism. It is important to improve service standards for domestic tourism. Currently, it is important to focus on sustainable tourism.
There are many destinations in the states that are often off the tourism radar but have high tourism potential and can be developed with Center and state funding and help diversify a state’s tourism offerings.
Malaysia announced the opening of its border on April 1, earlier this year after imposing just over two years of strict restrictions on international travel. In about a fortnight, Malaysian tourism was in India to organize a road show in six cities to build trust between trade and travellers, send a message about safety and its preparedness for Covid, to re-engage trade on many new product updates and education, and above all, to also say that he understands that the pandemic has been devastating to trade and industry and therefore he is ready to hold trade with initiatives and joint collaborative marketing incentives.
On the other hand, some of the major players in the Malaysian tourism industry, such as the integrated resort destination Desaru Coast, have also put on the table an attractive incentive program to make it even more attractive for tourism trade. Indian outbound tourism. , especially MICE operators and wedding planners, to promote Malaysia in the Indian market. There are many things we can learn here.
Likewise, given India’s strategic and inherent advantages, domestic tourism is a tremendous opportunity. However, there are issues that need to be addressed and challenges that need to be ironed out in order to exploit the potential opportunities that the sector offers in India. According to industry experts, the sector continues to struggle with poor service standards, safety and hygiene issues, low investment in marketing and promotion, and a lack of funding for many up-and-coming venues. potentials.
India is a unique country and therefore cannot simply copy anyone’s promotional strategy, but can learn and imbibe best practices in destination marketing and promotion. The country should work on clear short, medium and long-term goals and persist with well-designed strategies for source market developments.