Indian landscape is among the most beautiful and diverse in the world. From the beautiful valleys in the north to the famous backwaters of Kerala in the south, Rann of Kutch in the west to lush green hilly forests in the northeast, India has enormous potential for the tourism and hospitality industry. From the employment perspective, it is one of the most underexploited sectors, and according to estimates the tourism and hospitality industry has more than 4 crore jobs.
India is facing a problem with wages across the industry, and due to this the tourism industry is not able reach its true potential. Most of the people see jobs in the industry as part-time jobs which could be done in summer vacations to earn extra income, and there is a perception that jobs in this sector do not qualify as permanent lifetime jobs. This is because most of the industry is unorganized involving cash transactions and manual work, but since smartphones have become common there is an attempt to formalize the industry with many players like MakeMyTrip, Oyo, and Trivago stepping in.
India has 36 World Heritage Sites in India that are recognized by UNESCO as of August 2017. These are places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. The political boundaries of India encompass a wide range of ecozones—desert, high mountains, highlands, tropical and temperate forests, swamplands, plains, grasslands, areas surrounding rivers, as well as island archipelago. It is among world’s most biodiverse regions, with the three most distinguished regions for tourism in India being the Western Ghats, Himalayas and Andaman Islands.
All these factors make India a lovable destination for tourists across the world. Sensing the opportunity in tourism sector the PM Modi government introduced its Visa on Arrival enabled by ETA facility for tourists and business visitors, to citizens of 30 countries including America, China, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. As a result, 56,477 tourists arrived on an e-Tourist Visa during the October 2015 compared to 2,705 during October 2014, an increase of 1987.9%. The government has also allowed 100% FDI in tourism construction projects, including the development of hotels, resorts, and recreational facilities.
Tourism industry is not confined to only leisure and recreation, there are also fields like environmental tourism, cultural tourism, health tourism etc. India has a lot of potential particularly in the field of Medical tourism, and many people from Gulf countries, Australia, New Zealand and Iran visit India to get treated from serious diseases because medical facilities are cheaper in the country. Similarly, Indians living throughout the world visit India regularly because their holy places are located here. Many people from Asian countries like Japan. Myanmar, Sri Lanka come India to visit holy Buddhist sites located here.
The Tourism sector generated US$230 billion or 9.4% of the nation’s GDP in 2017 and supported 41.622 million jobs, around 8% of its total employment. The major problems faced by Indian tourism are the low level of formalization in industry, lack of ATM penetration and so on. The PM Modi led government is very serious about developing India as a major tourist destination in the world, and upcoming years will see many jobs in the industry. According to World Tourism Ranking, India received 14.6 million international tourists in 2016 which is way below its true potential. France, a small country in southern Europe, bags 82.6 million international tourists annually, almost 6 times more than that of India.
Jobs in the tourism industry are not monotonous like that of an IT worker or a teacher, people working in the industry move to different places every month and meet new people every day. Their exposure is much larger than people from any other industry. It is a field which requires creativity and there’s always room to dream up new ways of improvising and enhancing the experience for your customers. Tourism industry added 7.2 million jobs globally in 2015, alongside contributing to over $7.2 trillion to the world’s GDP. It is among the fastest growing industries in the world and there is an ocean of opportunities. There are many private colleges which offer Bachelors and Master’s degrees in fields related to tourism and hospitality. Indian government also runs a college named ‘Institute of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition (IHM)’ based in Pusa, New Delhi, which also offers a degree in tourism-related fields.