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Essay on “Tourism in India: Problems and Prospects” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Tourism in India: Problems and Prospects

Tourism is expanding the fastest and is the most rewarding industry of the modern world. International tourism constitutes the invisible export trade. No wonder then that some more enterprising countries have turned this flourishing industry into a means of spinning money. In recent years, India too has woken up to this great reality and concerted efforts are being made to develop and promote this foreign exchange earning industry in a big way. India, with her rich cultural heritage, ancient monuments, world famous temples, architectural masterpieces, wild animal sanctuaries and scenic spots, holds a great attraction for the tourists on the move.

In the past, for many decades tourist traffic in India was confined to the northern region. Taj Mahal at Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, Jaipur and Khajuraho were the main tourist attractions. But tourism was seldom treated as an industry and in respect of stay, food and sight-seeing the tourists were treated like pilgrims. With a view to exploit this untapped source of revenue and foreign exchange and to develop the tourist industry on modern commercial lines, the Government of India set up the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) in 1996. The State Governments have set up similar corporations in each State. These corporations are providing a unique range of tourist services.

 In India, the travel and tourism industry has really come of age. But India’s share in world’s tourism earnings of $ 3.5 trillion is just 0.37 per cent and receipts are 0.51 per cent of the world receipts. Tourism is presently India’s third largest export industry after gem and jeweler and ready made garments. The foreign exchange earnings from tourism during 1997-98 were about Rs. 300 crore. In 1995-96, India received 2.1 million foreign tourists.

A recent survey conducted by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) listed twenty top tourist destinations globally. India is nowhere in the list of twenty. But our big neighbour China has made a name for itself, which came into the tourism scene in the 90’s occupied the rank fifth in popular destination. Even Hong Kong at 14th place earns about US $ 11 billion. In comparison, India receives just 2.2 million visitors and earns forex of US $ 3 billion,. with 0.7 per cent of global receipts. India thus presents a gloomy picture in case of tourism industry when judged against the booming global scenario. The country’s share in world tourism has been far from encouraging.

In India civil unrest is a major problem to the business of tourism. Strikes in airlines or hotels, agitations or civil disturbances, communal riots and activities of militants and terrorists hamper the promotion of tourism. Crime is another problem. In certain cases the inflow of tourists is severely affected when news reaches home about a molestation incident and so on. This is common to both foreign as well as domestic tourists.

Red tapism is a common feature for the delay in framing or implementation of plans. States like Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala or Haryana, which have done well in tourism development, have provided stability in office to the officials responsible for tourism development. Lack of trained manpower and awareness are two problems in tourism development for India. Tourism is an industry where a high degree of training and professionalism is required.

Modern tourists are becoming progressively conscious of the comforts and conveniences and, as such, comfortable accommodation has assumed a place of strategic importance in the growth of tourism. Though in recent years there has been a quantitative spurt in hotel facilities, yet little attention has been paid to the qualitative aspects of hotellering, particularly in low budget hotels. Another area of serious concern is transportation. There is acute dearth of good roads, delux and economy class buses and air services linking our tourist destination to the principal airports.

The insanitary conditions in cities and hotels is one of the main reasons behind the under performance of tourism industry. There is a deplorable lack of civic amenities for public like bus stands, railway stations, public roads, running trains, etc. The sluggish growth of Indian economy is also responsible for the depressing tourism scene in India. The high hotel tariff in India is another deterrent to the growth of tourist traffic.

 For positive results, there is need to take urgent steps which would not allow the tourists to get frustrated and disappointed at any juncture of his Indian tour. Here problems start for the tourist, the moment he lands at the IGI Airport New Delhi. Lack of sophisticated devices and, if these are available, their inefficiency makes the customs clearance an onerous task. Touts also play the active part in helping the various functionaries to cheat the newcomers. These people have earned for themselves and for the country such a bad name that even the travel accounts given by earlier tourists, warn the first time visitors to India against their tricks of cheating. Effective vigilance and honest efforts on the part of authorities can definitely eliminate the touts from the tourist scene. Some other factors such as monotony of sites and poor infrastructure are also responsible for stagnation in the industry.

India enjoys a wide range of climatic fluctuations all the year round. Extreme heat of summer season keeps the tourists away from India during these seasons. The five months covered by these seasons can be utilized properly by adopting a proper strategy. May and June can be spent on hill-stations spread all over India. July, August and September are months of heavy down-pour. Attracting tourists during these months is a really difficult task. Adventure tourism can be ideally used to promote tourist traffic. Peninsular India is ideally suited for such purposes. The gorge of river Narmada with its foaming and roaring waters in the monsoon season is as challenging as the grand Canyon of Colorado river. Thus we can project India as a year round destination.

Majority of tourists visiting India are from the West. Only a few people come from the Far East. This imbalance can be set right by attracting the tourists from the Far East. India being the place of origin of Buddhism, can be developed into a pilgrim centre. Revival of Buddhist circuit lying in eastern UP and Bihar needs to be speeded up. Similarly, the unexplored sites in Ladakh and Sikkim can be turned into pilgrim centres. Revival of Buddhist circuit has promising prospect in widening our customer base. Further, the hills of UP, Ladakh and Sikkim can serve the purpose of adventure tourism. The challenging snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas beacon the adventuring youth to scale them. Mountaineering expeditions and trekking teams should be organized as these suit all sections of tourists. Cliffs of Eastern and Western Ghats are ideal for short climbs. Events like hang-gliding, paratrooping and bungers-jumping are still a low key affairs. Many Western countries have registered a shoot-up in tourist influx after promoting adventure tourism. The coastal belts of India and the Sunderbans have the potential to be developed into spots for eco-tourism.

Government as well as private organizations should jointly adventure some plans to attract foreign tourists. Heritage Hotel scheme is one of them. Railways play a crucial role in the development and promotion of tourism. The scheme of Palace on Wheels is a tourism promotion project of Indian Railways. This is a joint venture of Indian Railways with Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation.

In spite of some glaring flaws in our tourism policy, the current picture on our tourism front is not that gloomy. A feeling of confidence and an upbeat mood is prevailing in the industry after the Government gave the status of export industry to the travelling agencies, who have an annual turnover of more than Rs. 6 crore. These steps will help us march ahead with confidence in the new millennium and face the challenges lying ahead.

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