The first half of 2009 has been sordid tourchaipa thanks to the invasion of the recession, terrorism and new health concerns that have left many key industries across India and the rest of the world in a lurch. The ghosts of 2008 just refuse to die down and continue to haunt the world economies! While the global tourism industry and the Indian tourism industry in particular is no exception to this, experts see this as an opportunity in crisis. The key lies in identifying the problems, fixing them and this is just the right time to do it! However, it will take a concerted effort by India, the winner of three awards of the United Nations World Tourism Organization including Asia’s favourite tourist destination in 2007, to see through this turmoil. All this makes the World Tourism Day on September 27 this year even more challenging and exciting like never before!
This is the time to clean up the system
Globally, the tourism ministries in many countries and in India are gearing up to do well out of this world economic calamity. These efforts assume significance as the global travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries, employing nearly 231 million people and generating over 10.4 per cent of world GDP. And according to the Ministry of Tourism in India, in 2007, 5 million tourists visited India and spent nearly $11.5 billion. The World Tourism Organisation 2020 vision estimates that around 5.08 million tourists will visit India by 2010 which is likely to touch 8.9 million by 2020. India and China have so far been resilient during recession and the recent World Bank report has not only endorsed this but predicts a decent growth for the two Asian giants. Thus, as 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 its sleeves and work around a host of domestic and international tourism related issues.