Visa reforms to fuel India Travel & Tourism growth by 7.5% in 2015

Visa reforms to fuel India Travel & Tourism growth by 7.5% in 2015

The Travel & Tourism industry in India will grow by 7.5% in 2015, fueled by visa reforms, according to research released today by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). In 2014, the industry contributed INR7,642 billion and 36.7 million jobs to the Indian economy.

During 2015, the industry’s GDP contribution is forecast to grow by 7.5% and employment by 1.8%. This demonstrates the sector’s enduring ability to generate economic growth and create jobs at a faster rate than the national economy, which is due to grow by 6.7% in 2015.

By the end of 2015, the Travel & Tourism sector will contribute INR8,215 billion, 7% of India’s GDP, and 37.4 million jobs, almost 9% of total employment, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account.

The strong increase in the size of the Travel & Tourism industry in India is fuelled by visa reforms introduced in November 2014, which expanded the visa-on-arrival scheme to 43 nationalities. Visitors from those countries no longer have to queue up at local consulates but can instead apply for visas online.

David Scowsill, President & CEO WTTC, said: “India is one of the biggest Travel & Tourism economies in the world contributing significantly to economic wealth and job creation. Much needed reforms to its visas rules will provide the foundation for very strong growth in the sector during 2015.”

WTTC urges the Indian government to ensure the continued prioritisation of the sector, by focusing on four main issues:

1.  hough recent visa improvements have been welcomed, visa liberalisations still have a long way to go and the recent insistence upon biometric data for visitors from France and United Kingdom will have far reaching impacts on travel to India from these countries.

2. he Incredible India! Campaign should be recast and re-launched to maximize the India’s new visa regime.

3.  dequate steps are required to ensure safety and security of citizens and tourists. A clear co-ordinated Government strategy is required to offset the damaging impact on the country’s international reputation, from the negative perceptions of the treatment of women and women travellers in the country.

4. hile the recent Budget announcement of greater investment in high-speed rail infrastructure is a positive step, there is still much greater potential for high-speed rail connectivity between destinations, leveraging the massive railway network

WTTC research also warns that nearly 1.6 million jobs are at risk in India’s Travel & Tourism sector, if governments and private sector companies do not act now to address the talent shortage in the sector.

Research conducted for WTTC shows that the sector could employ 1,584,000 fewer people and contribute INR548billion less in GDP to the economy over the next ten years, when compared to current WTTC growth forecasts, if the Government and private companies fail to implement policies which promote proactive and careful talent management.

Scowsill continued: “According to WTTC forecasts, Travel & Tourism has the potential to contribute 46 million jobs to the Indian economy by 2025. But this growth will not happen by itself, and needs careful management, particularly in the area of human capital development. Failure to plan properly for talent requirements leads to lower growth, reduced investment, less innovation and declining competitiveness – for both countries and companies.”

“Travel & Tourism drives jobs and economic growth; well-being and prosperity. It creates jobs at different skills levels and in areas where other employment opportunities are scarce. Failure to plan properly for talent requirements leads to lower growth, reduced investment, less innovation and declining competitiveness.”

Every year, WTTC forecasts the economic impact of the Travel & Tourism sector in over 180 countries and 24 regions. For 2015, these forecasts show a sector that is, yet again, growing strongly, creating jobs and driving growth. By the end of the year, the contribution to GDP across the world from Travel & Tourism will have grown by 3.7% and the sector will contribute 284 million jobs, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet, once all the indirect and induced benefits are taken into account.

David Scowsill, President & CEO WTTC, said: “At a time of global economic challenges, Travel & Tourism continues to grow faster than the global economy, and is an enduring source of job creation and a driver of growth for every region in the world.”

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