Thursday, 4 April 2013

TOURISM IN INDIA




Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. It is an invisible export, which earns valuable foreign exchange without any significant or tangible loss of internal resources. It is a source of revenue and employment. There are countries in the world whose main source of revenue is tourism. India is a country with a great potential for tourism. In addition to her places of ancient historical and archaeological interests, her varied wild life sanctuaries, beach resorts and winter sports attract tourists from all over the world.

Indian Tourism Development Corporation is a public sector undertaking, whose main task is development of a sound foundation of tourist infrastructure. Founded in 1966, the Corporation has made phenomenal progress during the last 12 years. It provides a unique range of tourist services.
In 1973, an estimated 215 million people crossed inter­national borders, spending the equivalent of US $ 28 billion. India’s share in the world tourist traffic is small but it is increasing continu­ously. India received 179,565 tourists in 1967, 280,821 in 1970, 409,895 in 1973 and 423,610 in 1974 and the foreign exchange earn­ings in terms of rupees for these years were Rs. 25’2 crores, Rs. 38’0 crores, Rs. 67’5 crores and Rs. 69’7 crores respectively. The earning from tourism in 1974 ranked as the 12th largest amount in the country’s total foreign exchange packet. Tourism in India made remarkable progress in 1976. Tourist traflBc to this country crossed the 500,000 mark, recording an impressive increase of 15 per cent over the tourist arrivals in 1975. Nearly 5’3 lakh foreign tourists visited our country during 1976 as against 4’65 lakh in 1975. There was a corresponding increase in foieign exchange earnings from tourism, which rose to Rs. 120 crores. Tourist arrival showed an increase of 19’9% during 1977 over the previous year, with an estimated 6’4 lakhs (excluding the nationals of Pakistan and Bangla Desh) tourists visiting India. India’s gross foreign exchange earnings from tourism in 1977 were estimated at Rs. 283 crores at the then current price level.While emphasis on the development of international tourism
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as in the past, domestic tourism is going to be developed i coming years. Efforts will be made to provide clean and isive accommodation to suit the capacity of tourists, both Itic and foreign. Efforts are being made to improve facilities fiOconamodation is Dharmshala for the benefit of low income lip domestic tourists.
There are certain basic factors such as comfortable accommod-1, travel concessions and new centres of attraction etc., which go 1g way towards accelerating the flow of tourist traffic. The litl objectives of the Tourism Development Corporation are to Vide comfortable accommodation to the tourists, better cars and for sight seeing and special tourist services, including enter-Jnment and publicity.
ITDC (Indian Tourism Development Corporation) is the lly agency which provides a wide range of tourist services iighout the country. It operates 12 hotels, 2 beach resorts, 1 motels, 15 travel lodges, 11 restaurants, 14 transport units, 4 ilty-free shops, 3 light and sound shows, and 200 tourist cars and Baches.
For many years tourism in India was largely restricted to the Northern region. Agra (the Taj and Fatehpur Sikari), Varanasi irnath), Bodh Gaya, Jaipur and Khajuraho were the main rist destinations. ITDC has opened up a new range of destina-18 in South India. Hotel Asoka in Bangalore has introduced i southern region to the international tourists. Inauguration of valam Grove, stage one of India’s first beach resort project, was jmplemented by a second beach complex at Temple Bay Maha-|JNtlipuram. The Hasan Motel has been established to exploit the tourist potential of Belur and Halebid. As a step to concentrate on ‘the vital circuit link in Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho and Varanasi new and restaurants have been built, viz. Akbar and Qutab tels in New Delhi, Kosi and Taj restaurants for visitors to Agra, hotels at Khajuraho and Varanasi. Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel j. Udaipur has been renovated and Airport Hotel in Calcutta has commissioned for air travellers. Aurangabad jHotel vides facilities to the visitors of Ajanta and Ellora. Gulmarg Kashmir has been established as a centre for winter sports.
With the colourful variety of wild life, sanctuaries and national rks for species such as lions, tigers, rhinoceros, elephants and gratory birds are being developed. Sanctuaries like Dandell, inha, Gir, Jalidapara and Kaziranga have been provided with 8t lodges. To enable the tourists to observe wild life from the bty of caged mini-coaches, safari parks have been opened at Mivili (Bombay) and Hyderabad. Ajanta, Ellora and Sanchi have developed.
To encourage people to patronise tourist resorts other than i traditional locations around Bombay and Delhi, the Department of Tourism sponsored special package tours of South India and Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir. Among the special tourism promotional measures adopted during the year, was the institution of national awards to travel agencies, that contributed the maxi­mum foreign , exchange earnings through tourism. The awards for 1977 were given to M/s Travel Corp. of India Pvt. Ltd. Bombay, M/s Sita World Travel (1) Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, M/s. American Express, New Delhi, M/s. Thomas Cook, Bombay, and M/s. Mercury Travels Ltd., New Delhi. The 27th Annual Convention ofPATAwas held in New Delhi in January 1978. It was the biggest tourist conference held in India so far. 1600 delegates attended this conference.
There was a marked improvement in the development of tourist facilities also. The number of hotel rooms in approved hotels increased by about 100 to make a total of 15,300 rooms. In order to provide accommodation for young tourists, 14 youth hostels were opened during the year. Seven new tourist bungalows were also commissioned to provide inexpensive accommodation to middle-income tourists. To develop wild-life tourism, a forest lodge at Bharatpur and a safari park at Borivili, Bombay were opened. Construction work on the Sassangir and Jalpadapara were com­pleted.
The India Tourism Development Corporation opened two new hotels during the year. (1) The Kovalam Hotel near Trivan-drum which is India’s first beach resort built according to inter­national standards, (2) The 58-room hotel Pataliputra or Patna which provides facilities to foreign tourists at the gateway of pilgri­mage to Buddhist and Jain centres of Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya and Vaishali.
A major step towards improvement of the surroundings of tourist resorts was taken when a project for the b»autification of the area between Taj Mahal and Agra Fort was launched. The project included development of a lake and tourist accommodation at Kosi on the highway from Delhi to Agra.
Tourism in India must provide a window to our life and culture. The ITDC has set new trends in hotel service, including cuisine, entertainment, and decos to give the foreign visitors a genuine experience. The World Tourism Organisation declared 1975 the South Asia Tourism Year. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the Department of Tourism intensified its efforts over­seas to promote South Asia as a destination. The “Operation Europe” and the “Operation U.S.A.” have proved successful : plans for Australia and East Asia are under consideration. India has won an enviable reputation in the world for the excellence of its tourist literature, ITDC’s first film “Destination India” won the national award in 1973. The films ‘Destination Delhi’, ‘Woven Dream’, ‘Destination Bombay’ and ‘High Above the Dust’ have
completed and prints have been distributed to overseas and jn offices. 9 other sjfilms are under production. Prospects of Vth of tourist traffic in the coming years are bright.