Post Independence, India has evolved as a tourism hotspot for multiple reasons. From being a bridgehead for commerce and trade, to being a showstopper because of its captivating scenic spots and sightseeing areas, the idea of travel has changed drastically over the years.Owing to its extensive attractions and rich heritage, the country has always been one of the most rewarding and multicultural melting pot for any explorer. Tourists from different countries have been visiting India to witness its traditions and incredible cultural heritage, which are the factors that laid the foundation of the Indian tourism sector contributing about five per cent to GDP.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has made everyone yearn for travelling and exploring new places. With international borders not opening up completely, and parts of the world battling the virus, India appears to have unplugged a plethora of opportunities for travellers and wanderers across genres. The rise of millennials and GenZ as an all new breed of tourer, has redefined the term ‘tourism’. Over the past two years of pandemic, a couple of buzzwords such as staycations and workations have emerged as the trending guiding principles for these groups of travellers. Youths nowadays are eager to safely explore nature, and they are thriving to get access to high-quality infrastructure and a lively, welcoming environment without having to break the bank. The hybrid work model has evolved into a ‘work from anywhere’ solution, hence helping workations continue to rule the roost.
Travel destinations and accommodations are investing in women-centric tours as a result of the increased demand for solo female travel in India. Hostels are also aimed toward providing secure areas for women to dwell in a communal environment. This trend is poised for greater expansion in the upcoming year as more hostels and homestays provide particular accommodations for female travellers travelling alone. States all throughout India are advertising their unique places, which are providing adventurous travellers with fresh experiences. Generation Z and millennial travellers go to these uncharted regions and open doors for local communities’ development there.
The Indian Tourism Statistics 2022 report reveals India receiving 677.63 million domestic tourist visits in 2021. The percentage has increased by 11.05% from 610.22 in 2020. The top states in terms of domestic visits were Tamil Nadu at 115.33 million, Uttar Pradesh at 109.70 million, Andhra Pradesh at 93.27 million and Karnataka at 81.33 million. It’s interesting to note that the dynamics of travel around the world now appear entirely different from how they did before two extremely chaotic and passive years. 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the country’s tourism sector, with maximum countries contributing to Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) numbers in India. Total FTAs in India surged by 406.6% to 2,764,975 from January-July 2022 compared to the previous year. During this period, the US was the top contributor to FTAs in India, at 25.88%, followed by Bangladesh (18.61%), the UK (10.99%) and Australia (5.16%); the US was among the top 15 source nations.The survey discovers that wanderlust abounds with a strong desire to seize the experiences that travel offers in the post-Covid climate. Taj Mahal became the most-visited ticketed ASI Site for Domestic tourists in FY 21-23, followed by the Red Fort and the Qutub Minar, which received the second and third most visitors. The sharp rise in FTAs is a result of many driving forces that include the COVID-19 Vaccination campaign, the ‘Heal in India’ and ‘Heal by India’ campaigns announced by the Indian Government in May 2022, and several other infrastructural measures.
The country has also registered higher spending on leisure tourism compared to business spending tourism. With about 18% of Indians travelling for work within the nation, India is far ahead of its international rivals in this area. Owing to a resounding spike in booking during 2021-2022, the outlook of the Indian Tourism industry for the next decade looks bright and seems to expand exponentially. The tourism industry is raring to explore new frontiers and reinvent itself in order to keep up with the times.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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