India has a lot to offer to the world. Our cultural heritage is one of the richest. The remnants of the Indus valley civilisation gives a sneak peek into the lives of ancient societies. The forts and monuments of medieval India narrate the stories of the kings and their subjects. The colonial legacy left its imprint in India in the form of Victorian-style architecture and the westernisation of Indian culture. The unsurmountable Himalayas, the lush green western ghats, the islands, the deserts and a lot more is provided by nature for us to explore. All these wonders in India make for a potential tourist hub. To get the most out of it the government has taken a few steps. The tourism and hospitality industry gained impetus from initiatives mentioned as follows
—Incredible India tourist facilitator certification (IITFC) portal was launched by the tourism ministry. The successful completion of the course would certify the tourist facilitated from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
—Visa norms were made easy to create ease in tourism. This was done by collaborative work of Ministry of tourism, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of external affairs.
—Incredible India 2.0 campaign promoted tourism across the world through content creation.
—Adding Indian monuments and tourist spots to UNESCO World Heritage sites helps in the promotion of places of architectural significance or natural beauty.
—Complying with international norms and gaining recognition through various platforms like the Blue Flag certification for beaches, that can improve India’s impression while achieving sustainability goals.
The opportunities are enormous. Most of them have been left untapped for decades. Recently a significant acknowledgement of these opportunities started to take form. One such example is GI tag. Each state of India has a unique cuisine, tradition, costume, festivals and agricultural pattern. The geographical indication can mark these specialities on the map. Each state can use GI tag as a tool for protecting intellectual property. In this context, Uttar Pradesh has done a phenomenal job. One district one product initiative of the Uttar Pradesh government is a fruitful venture.
Beaches are a favorite destination for travelers. Who doesn’t want to steal a vacation on a Beach? Beautiful beaches, surrounded by vast endless ocean waters and recreational activities like swimming, boating, snorkelling, surfing can be part of the itinerary. Beaches in the west have developed into booming tourist hotspots. India too has the potential to develop a tourism industry.
Newer concepts like health tourism have emerged in the past few years. It is a term for travel with an emphasis on medical treatments and other health care services in other countries where these facilities are either available or available at a very cheaper rate with assured quality. According to some estimates, medical tourism is growing by 30% each year in India and Chennai attracts the most numbers.
The lockdown has put the tourism industry in a slump. The scars on the sector can heal only with a combined effort of government and private players. The revival of the industry is vital for the economy of the country.