Ojaank IAS Academy

OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

Development of Tourism in India Since Independence

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India is a country endowed with natural beauty. The biodiversity here also attracts the attention of the country and the world. Apart from this, there is one beautiful specimen of architecture in India. India’s intangible cultural heritage like dance, singing, theatrical arts etc. is also very rich. Thus India is a great tourist destination. When India became independent in the year 1947, many of India’s sights were lost, many arts had died due to lack of protection. Apart from this, the British had confiscated many artifacts from India and sent them abroad under the ‘Indian Treasure Trove Act 1878’. Therefore the monuments and arts of India needed special protection.

When India became independent, its treasury was completely empty. India did not have the capacity to meet the basic needs of the countrymen. In such a situation, the Government of India, during this period, focused its attention on meeting the needs of the people of ‘Roti, Cloth and House’. The government established the Department of Tourism as a special division under the Ministry of Transport to promote tourism in India. Established in the year 1949, this department first made a blueprint of India’s tourism potential. It found that India has immense potential for historical tourism and leisure tourism.

In the first five year plan, work was done in the direction of identifying the potential of the Indian tourism industry. However, tourism was given industry status much later. 336.38 lakh was allocated for the development of tourism industry in the second five year plan. In this plan, more emphasis was laid on the development of transport for the development of tourism. As a result, the tourism economy started flourishing in India.

In the Third Five Year Plan, the tourism industry was seen as an instrument of India’s economic growth and development of India. The reason behind the Government of India promoting the tourism industry in such a way was that India, where 17,000 tourists visited in the 1950s, visited. In the 1960s, their number had increased to 1 lakh 23 thousand. That is, on giving a little help, the number of visitors to India increased by 6 times. In the 1950s, where India used to get foreign exchange of Rs 4 crore from the tourism industry, it increased to Rs 29 crore in the 1960s. Due to this, India’s foreign exchange reserves also increased significantly. Therefore, in this scheme, India allocated 800 lakh rupees for the development of the tourism industry.

In the Fourth Five Year Plan, the government planned to develop the tourism industry as a tool for increasing foreign exchange reserves and employment generation. For this an action plan was prepared to improve the traffic system. Special attention was also paid to increasing the facilities available to the tourists. In the fifth five year plan, a plan was made to develop tourism as a medium of development. An action plan was prepared for its development by integrating it with other ministries. In this plan, work was done on the development of attractive tourist places like Kovalam, Kullu, Manali, Goa, Gulmarg etc. Its main objective was to increase the influx of foreign tourists to these places.

In the Sixth Five Year Plan, emphasis was laid on the development of airports and airlines to increase tourist traffic. In this five year plan, the foundation of Indian Institute of Tourist and Travel Management was laid, which prepares high-skilled tourism service facilitators in India. In the Seventh Five Year Plan, a target of 7 percent annual growth in this sector was set. Along with this, a roadmap was also prepared to take local support for its development. This not only provided employment to the local people, but also facilitated the tourists. In this plan, the foundation of 15 new culinary arts institutions was laid in India.

Considering it as an emerging area in the Eighth Five Year Plan, a huge amount of Rs 771 crore was allocated for its development. It was given industry status in 15 states and 3 union territories. This time the tourism industry was to be developed in such a way that it would reduce the poverty of India and also lead to rural development. In the Ninth Five Year Plan, a roadmap was made to develop the various dimensions of the tourism industry as a product, so that the tourists could have the best tourism experience.

By the tenth five year plan, the results of liberalization of the economy were visible. Now an action plan was being made to make the Indian tourism industry global. At this time, much attention was being paid to rural and ethnic tourism as India had great potential in these areas. Apart from this, now an exercise was going on to develop tourism to the level of excellence. The Eleventh Five Year Plan laid emphasis on the development of site based tourism industry. For this 991 sites were identified. For the development of the tourism industry, it was now planned to work on the model of cooperative federalism.

For this, the Center focused on connectivity of tourist places in collaboration with the states. National and state highways were developed. Various trains were run to connect tourist places with other places. In the twelfth five year plan, a roadmap for the development of tourism was made in the interest of the poor. It was designed in such a way that along with the development of India’s tourism industry, socio-economic conditions of India also improve.

All these five year plans played a major role in shaping the tourism map of India. But now the challenge for the government was to make tourism a quality tourism. For this, the government needed to do adequate infrastructure development in this area. With this objective, the government formulated HRIDAY i.e. Heritage City Development and Growth Plan. Under this, urban planning, economic growth and conservation of Indian heritage sites were integrated.

In the year 2015 itself, ‘Swadesh Darshan Yojana’ was brought by the government. Its purpose was to encourage the tourism potential of India so that the region can develop and tourists visit tourist places to know and understand India. Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Campaign i.e. PRASAD Yojana was introduced in the year 2014-15 with the objective of infrastructural development of various places of spiritual importance.

India is a country of sages and sages and pilgrimage centers. In such a situation, India has immense potential for spiritual tourism. For this purpose, India started various religious circuits. Under this, different places related to a religion or legend are identified and linked together. Examples of this are; Buddhist Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, North Eastern Circuit, Himalaya Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit etc.

Incredible India campaign was launched in the year 2002 to promote India’s tourism industry as a brand. This campaign has also greatly benefited the tourism industry of India. Today, the share of the tourism industry in India’s GDP is more than 6 percent, so it accounts for about ten percent of the country’s economy. Apart from this, it also provides employment to 8 percent of the people. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, India ranks tenth in terms of tourism in the list of 185 countries. India also receives foreign exchange worth about $ 30 billion from the tourism industry. In India, 1.23 percent of the total foreign tourists also come for tourism.

However, this figure is insufficient according to the tourism potential of India. There is more potential for the development of this industry in India. Medical tourism is also an emerging sector in India today. Tourists from different countries come here for cheap treatment. Tourists coming to India mainly come from Bangladesh, USA, UK and Australia.

The development of tourism in India also requires skilled professionals with knowledge of this sector. For this, the Ministry of Tourism works as a nodal agency. Under this, the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management prepares human resources to contribute to the development of tourism. Establishment of Indian Institute of Hotel Management is also an effort in this direction. Since the food habits of India have been famous all over the world and there is a rich tradition of culinary arts. Indian Institute of Culinary Arts has been established with the aim of doing more work in this direction.

India has introduced electronic visa arrangements for tourists from 169 countries to address the visa related problems of international tourists. Tourism Development Corporation of India which works under the Ministry of Tourism. It works towards the implementation and coordination of various tourism related schemes in India.

State governments are also doing meaningful work towards the development of tourism. Gujarat government’s tourism campaign ‘Kuch Din Toh Gujariye Gujarat Mein’ has greatly benefited the tourism industry there. The Swami Vivekananda Historical Tourist Travel Scheme 2022 has been launched by the Uttar Pradesh government for the working class. This is a great step towards making tourism inclusive. ‘Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Tourism Self Employment Scheme’ has been started by the Government of Uttarakhand. Under this scheme, an attempt has been made to benefit the local citizens and the local economy by linking tourism with self-employment.

Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has taken an innovation to make the tourism experience world class. For this, the department is working on a plan to start ‘Tourism Hospitality Skill Development and Certification Programme’. The Assam government has started the Amar Alohi scheme, under which tourists will be provided rural homestays. With this, tourists will not only get a chance to know the living, food and drink there, the income of the local people will also increase.

Thus the tourism industry of India is making a major contribution to the growth of the Indian economy today. Apart from this, it is also creating employment on a large scale. It is also doing the work of conservation of Indian heritage sites and intangible heritage. Apart from all this, it is also increasing the soft power of India by introducing the country and the world to the art and culture of India.


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