In 2020, the global Tourism industry took a hit of USD 1.3 Trn, the highest ever recorded in history. Asia contributes to most of international tourism which fell by 1 billion tourism arrivals during the last year. India also is a global tourism player with most number of international tourists visiting the country for its rich tradition and culture, coupled with business work. Delhi NCR, UP, Rajasthan and Kerala witness the most number of foreign tourists in the country while returning Indians, NRIs and people of Indian origin visit Maharashtra, Andhra and Tamil Nadu the most.
Globally, toursim drives retail business. A significant portion of the spending by tourists end up in hospitality (hotels and resorts) and food, plus a significant portion on product and services retail. From Theme Parks to Multiplexes, Concerts to Mall therapy, international and domestic tourists drive the retail business significantly worldwide. In India, due to US Dollar conversion rates, even an average 5 star Hotel would cost approx. USD 150 per night which would be similar to a 2 or 3 star hotel in South East Asia or Europe. Similarly, a glass of wine at USD 4 is a steal when compared to comparable global prices.
At Gourmet and Speciality Restaurants, a portion of non-vegetarian steak would cost USD 5 in India while one would usually never get anything for less than USD 12 in a similar restaurant in Europe. It is also common to see foreign tourists buy branded footwear, t-shirts and dresses at leading Retail chains abd Branded stores such as H&M, Levis, M&S, Nike to name a few. Globally, evert Hotel would have tie-up with local Brands and Retailers to drive traffic through cross promotions, discount vouchers, etc. while this is unpopular across most of India, save for a few tourist friendly locations such as Jaipur, Agra and Cochin.
Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India announced on Monday 28 Jun. ‘21 during a press conference that India would issue 500,000 Visas to foreign tourists who arrive in the country upto a travel date of 31 Mar. ‘22. In a move that has brought a lot of cheer to the Tourism Industry, many Senior Leaders welcomed this move and thanked the Government for such an unprecedented first of its kind effort to fastrack the Indian Economy.