India’s Travel & Tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, shows a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
According to the new data, Travel & Tourism generated INR14.1 trillion (USD208.9 billion) in 2016, which is the world’s 7th largest in terms of absolute size, the sum is equivalent to 9.6% of India’s GDP.
Additionally, the sector supported 40.3 million jobs in 2016, which ranks India 2nd in the world in terms of total employment supported by Travel & Tourism. The sector accounts for 9.3% of the country’s total jobs.
India’s Travel & Tourism sector was also the fastest growing amongst the G20 countries, growing by 8.5% in 2016. A further 6.7% growth is forecast for 2017.
India’s strong Travel & Tourism figures are predominantly generated by domestic travel, which accounts for 88% of the sector’s contribution to GDP in 2016.
Visitor exports, money spent by foreign travellers in India, only represents 12% of tourism revenues and in 2016 totalled INR1.5 trillion (USD22.8bn). This is 5.4% of the country’s total exports, compared to a global average of 6.6%. Data from the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows that India received only 9 million international arrivals in 2016, placing it 40th in the world, and a tenth of those received by top-ranking France.
However, there is a lot of potential for India to grow their visitor exports. Over the past few months India has already starting to address this gap and made significant changes to visa facilitation, which will help to boost international arrivals. WTTC data suggests that visitor exports will grow by 5.4% in 2017.
David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “India is a tremendous Travel & Tourism economy and I am pleased to see the sector GDP is growing. However, we believe that these numbers could be even higher, and that the positive impact of our sector could be more wide-ranging. India has a huge potential to increase its international visitors and, in doing so, it can create more jobs and drive economic growth.
We encourage the Indian government to continue to adopt policies that encourage travellers, such as the new visa regime, enable investment in vital infrastructure, and allow companies to do business. India is a beautiful and diverse tourism destination, with the right policies in place it will no doubt continue to grow towards ranking even higher in terms of its tourism economy.”