Thailand, Singapore Woo More Tourists While India Lags Behind
The Economic Survey released in 2016 dedicated an entire sub-section on the untapped potential of Indian tourism.
From the adage of Atithi Devo Bhava to the rather modern pitch of ‘Incredible India’, tourism has been one of the focal points of Indian culture and policy-making.
On 27 September – World Tourism Day – however, it remains a point of debate whether India is poised well enough to harness its full potential as a tourism destination.
What Does Data Say?
The World Tourism Competitive Index Data 2019, released by the World Economic Forum, shows tourism in India taking a hit.
While India is pegged at 34 among 140 countries in the overall ranking, much smaller countries like Thailand (31), Malaysia (29) and Singapore (17) rank better.
Another set of data from The Economic Survey released by the government in 2016 dedicated an entire sub-section on the untapped potential of Indian tourism.
Data from the survey showed how, despite having more number of heritage sites than countries like Russia, the UK, Turkey, Singapore and Thailand, India witnesses lower footfall.
Additionally, the survey also suggested that comparison with other countries reveals India’s share in international tourist arrivals to be a paltry 1.1 percent, putting the nation on the rank of 24, in opposition to the 7.1 percent of France which ranked first in 2016.
China ranked fourth with a share of 4.8 percent.
A comparative analysis between India, China and the US, published in the survey, highlighted the gap across some key indicators.
India fares quite poorly as far as Safety and Security (122), Health and Hygiene (105), Information and Communications Technology Readiness (105), Environment Sustainability (128) and Service Infrastructure (109) are concerned.
On the other hand, India ranks quite highly in indicators like Price Competitiveness (13), Natural Resources (14) and Cultural Resources (13).
Not All Bad News
The Economic Survey, however, also shows foreign tourist footfall in India and the resultant foreign exchange earned witnessing a steady rise over the last few years – albeit not a very encouraging graph.
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