The Visitor Economy: How it Works for Delhi?

The assumption here is that all the big global cities are built around the visitor economy. Like London, Paris and New York, our own Mumbai and New Delhi too, have similar economies in place, but not adequately recognised and therefore remain untapped. In this pilot study that was compiled in 2016, and therefore the data is that of 2015, CAPA India put together these steps to make the city a more pronounced global hub. Kapil Kaul, country head, CAPA believes this is the way forward. An updated version will only strengthen this position and strategy.

6 step Approach for this deliberation begins with an understanding and recognition of the ‘visitor economy’…

Step 1: Understanding the ‘visitor economy’

‘Visitor economy’ defined and explained:

Refers to overall demand and supply in all the sectors within which visitor activity and its direct and indirect consequences upon the economy take place.

The term is wider than the definition of tourism industries, which it includes, and it encompasses all staying and non-staying visitors (including categories such as business day visits and leisure day visits not currently measured as part of tourism industries).

It embraces the activities and expenditure involved in supplying products and services for visitors by both the private and public sectors. It also includes the primarily public sector activities and substantial expenditure on the creation, maintenance and development of the public realm and the infrastructure within which, and through which, visitor activities take place.

It can be used in relation to international, national and sub-national geographical destinations or areas and need not necessarily be confined by existing historical boundaries.

Various ‘tourism industries’ are a sub-set of the visitor economy.

As evident from London’s example, in the earlier section, the direct and indirect benefits of ‘visitor economy’ are substantial.

…followed by a critical due diligence to identify the framework for a global city…

Step 2: A critical due diligence of what constitutes a framework which helps create a city like London (or NY)

Airport infrastructure; ‘Into city’ connectivity and public transport (multi-modal, primarily rail and road); Hotels/accommodation infrastructure, across room categories; F&B services and activities, with appropriate oversight and regulatory mechanism; Safety and security; Women & disable friendly; Cleanliness and hygiene; Civic infrastructure – including uninterrupted power and water supply, quality of infrastructure, solid waste management, sanitation, sewerage, storm water drainage, housing, transport & traffic congestions; Culture and heritage; Retail infrastructure (shopping malls, markets, and related destinations); Recreational facilities and activities – including sporting events; Health and well-being; Environment friendly (sustainable, carbon neutrality, pollution levels – air, noise, water etc.); Ability to communicate, market, and promote the destination – including leveraging digital and social media; Ownership, goals setting, performance measurement, and accountability.

Through the ‘London Eye’ – What makes an international tourist destination popular and successful…

…translating into immense economic benefits and a multiplier effect.

During 2015, London attracted 18.6 mn international visits (overnight stays), and 12.9 mn domestic visits (from UK residents). Additionally, the city witnessed 274 mn day visits (2014).

2015 visitor spends on hotels, restaurants, shopping, & attractions amounted to GBP15 bn (c.USD22.5 bn).

Overall, the tourism sector is expected to have contributed more than GBP36 bn (c.USD54 bn) and supported 700,000 jobs.

The contribution of the travel and tourism industry to UK’s economy is encapsulated hereunder. For context, in 2015, the GDP size of the UK was USD2.8 tn (nominal), it had a population of 65.2 mn, and it attracted 33.9 mn international visitors (overnight stays).

Direct contribution to GDP – 3.7%
Total contribution to GDP – 11.2%

Direct contribution to employment – 5.3%
Total contribution to employment – 12.7%

Tourism spends:
Business tourism – GBP65.3 bn
Leisure tourism – GBP100.2 bn
Visitor exports (foreign spends) – GBP32.0 bn
Domestic tourism – GBP133.4 bn

Capital investment – GBP14.2 bn

…which are drilled down to identify the ‘critical’ elements and capacity constraints…

Step 3

• Critical elements of the framework include:

Airport infrastructure; Public transport (multi-modal, primarily rail and road); Civic infrastructure – including uninterrupted power and water supply, quality of infrastructure, solid waste management, sanitation, sewerage, storm water drainage, housing, transport & traffic congestions; Safety and security; Cleanliness and hygiene, health and well-being; Recreational facilities and activities, night life; Retail infrastructure (shopping malls, markets, and related destinations); Governance.

• Key questions to ask and answer include:

Are we maxing out on any of these – either already reached capacity constraint or expected to reach capacity constraints in the near future (say 1-3 years); Do we have sufficient resources to build capacities where required; What are our constraints.

…followed by a high level strategic perception study about Delhi, along with developing a strategic tourism development framework…

Step 4

• What is Delhi’s brand, its positioning, perception, recall, and rankings.

Cities are increasingly being associated with a particular spirit – e.g. Religion in Jerusalem, Learning in Oxford, Ambition in New York. What is the spirit of Delhi !! Cities are also building and developing brands around themselves – Hong Kong (Asia’s World City), Paris (The City of Love), Rome (Eternal City), even Las Vegas (Sin City). What is the brand of Delhi !!

• Such perception study needs to be done by visitor economy classification, including business, and should be targeted at NCT, India, international visitors.

Step 5: Develop a strategic tourism development framework which includes:

The Tourism Minister of the Delhi government to don the role of the cultural ambassador; Governance standards and requirements; Investments – public and private sector; Public-private-partnership model; Inter and intra government coordination – especially between the state and centre. Delhi’s case is unique since it does not have control Market and promote the destination; High level strategic plan with clearly defined ownership, goals, and accountability.

…and outcomes staggered over two stages. on some elements like police etc.;

Step 6

• Stage 1 – Lasts for the remaining 6-7 months of FY2017. Identify and deliver on some quick-wins during this stage, which could include:

Setting up a Visit Delhi Council, similar to a Visit London Council; A government funded promotion company, similar to London & Partners; Set-up a Delhi Tourism Marketing Board, and an official visitor guide (similar to;

• Stage 2 – From 2017 to 2019, which structures the larger framework that includes:

How will the Delhi Government take ownership of making Delhi a hub for international tourists; How will the Delhi Government take ownership of making Delhi airport a hub; Setting up of a trained ‘Tourism Police’; Metro connectivity, double decker buses, traffic and transportation; Safety and security; Night life, sound and light shows etc.

Has the time come? That tourism will get disrupted, in terms of its overall perspective. That it would embrace the bigger picture, as either Travel & Tourism, or as Visitor Economy? Call it what you do, the name does count. There is so much in a name, after all. Under this new ambit, it would get its new recognition, where air transport, other modes of commuting, hospitality across its emerging spectrum – from luxury, mid-market, experiential, senior living, shared living spaces, whatever – inbound, domestic: all get inter woven into a single fabric. With heritage, culture, all things Indian, get packaged into a single mosaic called the ‘Pride of India’, or ‘ Made in India’.

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