Planet Tourism Day – Challenges Galore!

The first half of 2009 has been sordid due to invasion of the recession, terrorism plus new health concerns that have left numerous key industries across India as well as the rest of the world in a lurch. The ghosts of 2008 just refuse to die down and continue to bother the world economies! While the global travel and leisure industry and the Indian tourism industry in particular is no exception to this, experts see this as an opportunity within crisis. The key lies in identifying the issues, fixing them and this is just the ideal time to do it! However , it will take the concerted effort by India, the particular winner of three awards from the United Nations World Tourism Organization including Asia’s favourite tourist destination within 2007, to see through this uncertainty. All this makes the World Tourism Day on September 27 this year a lot more challenging and exciting like no time before!

This is the time to clean up the system
Internationally, the tourism ministries in many countries and in India are gearing as much as do well out of this world economic calamity. These efforts assume significance since the global travel and tourism sector is one of the world’s largest industries, utilizing nearly 231 million people and generating over 10. 4 % of world GDP. And based on the Ministry of Tourism in Indian, in 2007, 5 million travelers visited India and spent almost $11. 5 billion. The World Travel and leisure Organisation 2020 vision estimates that around 5. 08 million visitors will visit India by 2010 which is likely to touch 8. 9 million by 2020.
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India plus China have so far been resistant during recession and the recent World Bank report has not only recommended this but predicts a decent growth for that two Asian giants. Thus, so far as the tourism industry is concerned, India is well poised to cash in on the global recession only if it makes up its mind to roll up the sleeves and work around a host of domestic and international tourism related issues.

The international plus domestic issues that affects tourism within India
A weaker American plus European economies that are already stung by recession has a spiralling effect on the global corporate world which is on the cost-cutting spree. This means lesser business and personal travels to India. The nation is also facing newer challenges within health scares like the Swine flu, racism scandals, and poor safety for foreigners in certain tourists’ places, climatic changes, inadequate manpower and the monsoon failures. Estimates have place that India would need at least two hundred, 000 people to cater to the state’s growing tourism needs. Then you can find the proverbial infrastructure problems like poor road connectivity, non-modernisation associated with airports, lack of world class food and lodging facilities in hot tourism areas and the sluggish pace in identifying and developing tourist destinations and circuits. All these could have far-reaching impacts on the tourism industry in India.

Internally, India’s domestic tourism industry is on a boom. Literally a cash spinner, the domestic tourism industry too faces similar issues that will have to be sorted out simultaneously. Hence, it will take collaborative and focused efforts on the part of the Indian tourism ministry and other related ministries to deal with these issues and set up new standards.

Tackling the issues
Tourism is multiple sectoral. It has to coordinate plus work with other industries and ministries to remove bottlenecks in infrastructure, traveling, health, food and accommodation and other facilities. The key is to offer a world class encounter for tourists visiting India.

1 ) Creating a healthy environment, literally
On one hand, the medical tourism industry can be on a roll. The country is witnessing a huge influx of tourists through all over the world for medical treatment purposes. This calls for steadying up the healthcare services and switching on the ‘always for the ready’ mode in terms of modernisation of equipments and qualified manpower. The invasion of new health scares such as the recent H1N1 scare could make a dent on the tourists’ visiting the nation. These health scares will have its impact on the domestic tourism situation as well. The health ministry will have to turns out promising measures and work with the general public in creating a safer, healthier environment for all tourists visiting India.

second . Infrastructure woes
Presently, the drive remains on the construction, maintenance, and development of roads, rails and airways that connect the various tourist destinations in the nation. For this the Ministry of Tourism has to coordinate with the ministry associated with road transport and highways, the particular civil aviation and the railway ministry. The source of funds for these all-important development activities could also come from the various IPOs. However , this could happen only when the present rule of not permitting banks in India to accept deposits beyond 10 years is relaxed. The finance for infrastructure is a long-term plan and runs for 15 years. Hence only if banks are usually allowed to have long-term funds, this particular mismatch could be removed.

3. Advancement world class hotels
Accommodation continues to be the particular central plank of the development technique of tourism in India. It is really an area where the Government will have to spruce up its coordination with not only the particular states and union territories but additionally with private players. Tourists through foreign countries not only will expect safety and world class facilities in the hotels they stay but also near proximity to the tourists’ hotspots. Therefore, there is an increasing need to identify, set up and maintain world class accommodation facilities near the heritage sites, and other tourists’ places in the country.

On the food front, though it is a fact that tourists’ visiting Indian loves the spicy Indian food, the lack of stringent food laws plus restrictions, however , remains an issue. In addition to the variety, there has to be quality and basic safety too in the food offered.

Study, plan, and perform!
Tourism is not just about visiting a country. A tourist may visit a country regarding various reasons. For example , many vacationers from different parts of the world see India as a hub of medical tourism. So is the adventure tourism sector that provides mountaineering, skiing, ice skating, paragliding, plus rock climbing opportunities in some of the nation’s finest landscapes, seas and glaciers capped mountains. Further cruise tourism which is very popular in the Caribbean, Latina America and some South-east Asian countries is gaining foothold in India’s huge coastlines and unexplored jungles plus destinations. Rural tourism, eco-tourism can also be good potentials for India’s travel and leisure sector. It is high time the Ministry of Tourism focuses more on eco-tourism as it will serve as an educative tool for domestic and international tourists in observing wildlife, studying the environment and understanding and preservation of the environment. Hence, understanding plus solving these issues becomes all the more important. For this, the country needs well chalked out plans, funds from different sources, adequate manpower, and up-to-date technology, round the clock concerted coordination involving the various ministries and private gamers and above all the urge to make Indian the most favoured tourist destination in the land.