Travel and tourism is the largest service industry in India. This industry provides heritage, cultural, medical, business and sports tourism. It is expected that the tourism sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at the rate of 7.8 percent yearly in the period 2013–2023.
The Indian tourism sector has been flourishing in recent years due to the improved connectivity to and from the country. Also, a better lodging facility at the tourist destinations has been a factor which has contributed to increase Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA).
The policies and changes implemented by the Government of India has also been instrumental in providing the necessary boost to the Indian tourism and hospitality industry and attracting more and more foreign tourists every year.
The tourism and hospitality sector is among the top 10 sectors in India to attract the highest foreign direct investment (FDI). Expected share of tourists by expenditure, domestic travelers are expected to contribute around 84.7 per cent to total tourism revenues by 2024. With the rise in the number of global tourists and realizing India’s potential, many companies have invested in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Augmentation of quality tourism infrastructure throughout the country is a key area of functioning of the Ministry. More than fifty percent of the Ministry’s expenditure on Plan schemes is incurred for development of quality tourism infrastructure at various tourist destinations and circuits in the States/ UTs.
Hotels are an important component of the tourism product. They contribute to the overall tourism experience through the standards of facilities and services offered by them.
With the aim of providing contemporary standards of facilities and services available in the hotels, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a voluntary scheme for classification of operational hotels which will be applicable to the following categories: Star Category Hotels: 5 Star Deluxe, 5 Star, 4 Star, 3 Star, 2 Star & 1 Star Heritage Category Hotels: Heritage Grand, Heritage Classic & Heritage Basic.
The Ministry of Tourism in India, has a scheme for granting approval to hotel projects from the point of view of this suitability for international tourists. A classification committee set up by the Ministry classifies the functioning hotels under the star system into six categories from one star to five star deluxe.
Similarly, the Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators, the idea being to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote Tourism in India.This is a voluntary scheme open to all bonafide agencies.
Human Resource Development:
The ministry of Tourism has put great emphasis on placing a system of training and professional education with necessary infrastructural support capable of generating manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the tourism and hospitality industry, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
As of now, there are 29 Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs), comprising 21 Central IHMs and 8 State IHMs, and 5 Food Craft Institutes (FCIs), which have come up with the support of the Ministry. These institutes were set up as autonomous societies with a specific mandate to impart / conduct hospitality education / training in hospitality skills.
Marketing (Incredible India)
As part of its marketing / publicity activities, the Ministry of Tourism brings out brochures, leaflets, maps, films, CDs, etc. on various topics. Each heading given below details the theme on an all India basis, based on availability of the respective products. In case of the destination folders, the leaflet / folder / brochure gives the information about the place or the destination with various facets of the facilities available, sight seeing around the place, important telephone numbers and the contact points of India tourism officers. Similarly, the films deal with the subject in its entirety covering all destinations of the country.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, through its 14 offices overseas endeavors to position India in the tourism generating markets as a preferred tourism destination, to promote various Indian tourism products vis-à-vis competition faced from various destinations and to increase India’s share of the global tourism market.