Dismal State of The Indian Tourism Sector

I came across a few numbers browsing through stuff on the internet. And, I was quite shocked to see something. This is to do with the state of the Indian tourism industry. While some of these data are from different timeframes, they intuitively make sense.

As per this article in The Economic Times, India received a total of about 5 million tourists from abroad. Contrast this to the tiny island-nation of Singapore – it got over 10 million tourists in 2007 alone! I mean India is hundred times bigger than Singapore and has far too many  attractions and things to see & do. The culture is rich, there are great food choices, there are the hills and the plains and the beaches and the backwaters. But, the numbers fall very short of expectations. It may be just inadequate marketing. Or it can be bad perceptions about the tourism & general infrasructure in the country. Or it can even be poor word-of-mouth from tourists who had a not-so-pleasant experience. Whatever is the case, there is an urgent need to come up with a holistic approach to tap this important revenue stream.

What do you think are the top reasons for the below par performance of the Indian tourism sector?

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3 thoughts on “Dismal State of The Indian Tourism Sector

  1. Tourism in India can be one of the major industries considering the rich cultural heritage and enchanting natural beauty of the country. However, I guess this industry have suffered from a paucity of effective promotional activities which would have helped it to reach out to more potential tourists throughout the world..

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    • Well..I agree..we haven’t promoted ourselves adequately, despite having a large number of appealing tourism options. Another critical issues is having the right infrastructure for supporting tourism, which is lacking.

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  2. Top reasons for the below par performance of the Indian tourism sector?

    Is it that difficult to figure out really? Lets see…here are some reasons in no particular order

    1) Horrendous traffic in cities
    2) Unbeathable air in cities due to #1
    2) Filthy cities with trash thrown on the streets
    3) Touts and beggars harassing foreigners….people out to cheat you and rip you off everywhere you turn
    4) People defecating in the streets.
    5) No 911 or good emergency services
    6) Water shortages. Electricity blackouts. Pollution issues
    7) People throwing plastic bags, wrappers and bottles even in religious or historical places. (First teach the average desi some basic civic sense then worry about tourism.)
    8) Overcrowding at tourist spots or national parks
    9) Formerly good mountain retreats or forests now becoming too “touristy” due to uncontrolled development.
    10) National parks becoming not good to visit due to poaching, maoist insurgencies, or deforestation by overpopulating villagers for firewood.

    I could go on and on but you get the point I think. Its no surprise then that China’s annual tourist visitor number is 10 times more than India’s (54 million vs 5 million) I bet you 4 of the 5 million is expat Indians visiting from abroad. I dont think the problem is due to not promoting yourself adequately….its just that you dont have a great package to promote.

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