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In FY20, 39 million jobs were created in the tourism sector in India, which was 8.0% of the total employment in the country.

Tourism & Hospitality Industry in India

    Last updated on Oct, 12 2021

Indian Tourism and Hospitality Industry Report  (Size: 1.49 MB ) (August, 2021)


The Indian tourism and hospitality industry have emerged as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. Tourism in India has significant potential considering the rich cultural and historical heritage, variety in ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty spread across the country. Tourism is also a potentially large employment generator besides being a significant source of foreign exchange for the country.

In FY20, tourism sector in India accounted for 39 million jobs, which was 8.0% of the total employment in the country. By 2029, it is expected to account for about 53 million jobs.

According to WTTC, India ranked 10th among 185 countries in terms of travel & tourism’s total contribution to GDP in 2019. During 2019, contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was 6.8% of the total economy, ~ Rs. 13,68,100 crore (US$ 194.30 billion).

Market Size

India is the most digitally advanced traveller nation in terms of digital tools being used for planning, booking, and experiencing a journey. India’s rising middle class and increasing disposable income has supported the growth of domestic and outbound tourism.

During 2019, foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India stood at 10.93 million, achieving a growth rate of 3.5% y-o-y. During 2019, FEEs from tourism increased 4.8% y-o-y to Rs. 1,94,881 crore (US$ 29.96 billion). In 2019, arrivals through e-Tourist Visa increased by 23.6% y-o-y to 2.9 million. In 2020, FTAs decreased by 75.5% YoY to 2.68 million and arrivals through e-Tourist Visa (Jan-Nov) decreased by 67.2% YoY to 0.84 million. As of March 2021, the e-Tourist Visa facility was extended to citizens of 171 countries.

In April 2021, the percentage share of FTAs was highest from USA (26.85%), followed by Bangladesh (15.65%), Afghanistan (6.92%), UK (5.87%), Nepal (4.59%), Canada (4.27%), Iraq (2.99%), Portugal (2.40%), Germany (1.42%), Russian Fed (1.41%) Maldives (1.39%), France (1.33%), Sudan (1.21%), Korea (Rep.) (1.18%), and Australia (1.02%).

In April 2021, the percentage share of FTAs in India was highest at Bengaluru Airport (29.96%), followed by Mumbai Airport (17.48%), Ahmedabad Airport (15.72%), Delhi Airport (9.21%), Cochin Airport (4.91%), Chennai Airport (4.04%), Hyderabad Airport (3.34%), Lucknow Airport (2.40%), Bhavnagar Seaport (2.37%), Kolkata Airport (2.11%), Calicut Airport (1.41%), Amritsar Airport (1.35%), Kakinada Seaport (1.32%), Dabolim (Goa) (0.91%), Mangalore Airport (0.72%).

Between January 2021 and April 2021, FTAs was 376,083 as compared with 2.35 million between January 2020 and April 2020, registering a negative growth of -84.0% Y-o-Y due to COVID-19.

By 2028, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 30.5 billion and generate revenue over US$ 59 billion. However, domestic tourists are expected to drive the growth, post pandemic.

International hotel chains are increasing their presence in the country, and it will account for around 47% share in the tourism and hospitality sector of India by 2020 and 50% by 2022.

As per the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), in FY21, the Indian hotel industry has taken a hit of >Rs. 1.30 lakh crore (US$ 17.81 billion) in revenue due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


India was globally the third largest in terms of investment in travel and tourism with an inflow of US$ 45.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 5.9% of the total investment in the country.

The hotel & tourism sector received cumulative FDI inflow of US$ 15.65 billion between April 2000 and March 2021.

Indian government has estimated that India would emerge with a market size of 1.2 million cruise visitors by 2030-31. Dream Hotel Group plans to invest around US$300 million in the next 3-5 years for the development of the cruise sector in India.

Government Initiatives

The Indian Government has realised the country’s potential in the tourism industry and has taken several steps to make India a global tourism hub.

Some of the major initiatives planned by the Government of India to boost the tourism and hospitality sector of India are as follows:

  • The government introduced a scheme to boost the tourism sector by providing one-month free tourist visa to 5 lakh tourists until March 31, 2022.
  • In July 2021, the ministry drafted a proposal titled ‘National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism' and has requested recommendations and feedback from several Central Ministries, all state and UT governments and administrations as well as industry partners to make the document more comprehensive.
  • In May 2021, the Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel participated in the G20 tourism ministers' meeting to collaborate with member countries in protecting tourism businesses, jobs and taking initiatives to frame policy guidelines to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism.
  • Government is planning to boost the tourism in India by leveraging on the lighthouses in the country. 71 lighthouses have been identified for development as tourist spots.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced a new scheme called ‘All India Tourist Vehicles Authorisation and Permit Rules, 2021’, in which a tourist vehicle operator can register online for All India Tourist Authorisation/Permit. This permit will be issued within 30 days of submitting the application.
  • In February 2021, the Ministry of Tourism under the Government of India's Regional Office (East) in Kolkata collaborated with Eastern Himalayas Travel & Tour Operator Association (resource partner) and the IIAS School of Management as (knowledge partner) to organise an ‘Incredible India Mega Homestay Development & Training’ workshop. 725 homestay owners from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and the foothills of Dooars were trained in marketing, sales and behavioural skills
  • On January 25, 2021, Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel announced plan to develop an international-level infrastructure in Kargil (Ladakh) to promote adventure tourism and winter sports.
  • The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) runs a series of Bharat Darshan tourist trains aimed at taking people to various pilgrimages across the country.
  • On November 4, 2020, the Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the “Tourist Facilitation Centre” facility constructed under the project “Development of Guruvayur, Kerala” (under the PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism).
  • The Ministry of Tourism’s ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ webinar series titled ‘12 Months of Adventure Travel’ on November 28, 2020, is likely to promote India as an adventure tourism destination.
  • On January 26, 2021, Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr. Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated Balasaheb Thackeray Gorewada International Zoological Park in Nagpur. It is India’s largest zoological park spread over 564 hectares and expected to attract ~2.5 million tourists a year.
  • The Ministry of Tourism developed an initiative called SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for Hospitality Industry) by partnering with the Quality Council of India (QCI) in October 2020. The initiative will effectively implement guidelines/SOPs issued with reference to COVID-19 for safe operations of hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and other units.
  • Ministry of Tourism launched Dekho Apna Desh webinar series to provide information on many destinations and sheer depth and expanse on the culture and heritage of India.
  • Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as ‘Statue of Unity’, was inaugurated in October 2018. It is the highest standing statue in the world at a height of 182 metre. It is expected to boost the tourism sector in the country and put it on the world tourism map.
  • Under Budget 2020-21, the Government of India has allotted Rs. 1,200 crore (US$ 171.70 million) for development of tourist circuits under Swadesh Darshan for eight Northeast states.
  • Under Budget 2020-21, the Government of India has allotted Rs. 207.55 crore (US$ 29.70 million) for development of tourist circuits under PRASHAD scheme.

State Government Initiatives

  • In July 2021, the Kerala government, in collaboration with Vythiri in Wayanad, has initiated a campaign to vaccinate all tourism and hospitality stakeholders.
  • The Ministry of Tourism sanctioned three projects for a total amount of Rs. 179.68 crore (US$ 24.24 million) under the Swadesh Darshan scheme in Gujarat.
  • In July 2021, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) invited applications to operate shacks in six major beaches of the state.
  • In July 2021, the Tamil Nadu state government decided to implement an integrated mega tourism plan, which included new lighting arrangements for the Thiruvalluvar statue at Kanyakumari, starting renovations at Poompuhar tourist spot and improving roads leading to tourist spots, spiritual places and adventure tourism spots. It also includes unveiling a new tourism policy, establishing more hotels, resorts, and convention centres and increasing contribution of public and private sectors in the tourism sector.
  • In July 2021, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority urged stakeholders in the tourism sector in the state to register with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism under the Tourism Trade Registration and Facilitation Guidelines 2020.
  • In June 2021, the Odisha state government announced to provide a financial package for the COVID-hit tourism sector of the state.


Following are the achievements of the Government during 2019-20:

  • During 2019-20, an additional fund Rs. 1,854.67 crore (US$ 269.22 million) was sanctioned for new projects under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
  • Ministry of Tourism sanctioned 18 projects covering all the North Eastern States for Rs. 1,456 crore (US$ 211.35 million) to develop and promote of tourism in the region under Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes.
  • Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as ‘State of Unity’, was inaugurated in October 2018 and the total revenue generated till November 2019 stood at Rs. 82.51 crore (US$ 11.81 million).

Road Ahead

Staycation is seen as an emerging trend were people stay at luxurious hotels to revive themselves of stress in a peaceful getaway. To cater to such needs, major hotel chains such as Marriott International, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Oberoi hotels are introducing staycation offers were guests can choose from a host of curated experiences, within the hotel.

India’s travel and tourism industry has huge growth potential. The industry is also looking forward to the expansion of e-Visa scheme, which is expected to double the tourist inflow in India. India's travel and tourism industry has the potential to expand by 2.5% on the back of higher budgetary allocation and low-cost healthcare facility according to a joint study conducted by Assocham and Yes Bank.

Note: *in US$ terms

Note: Conversion rate used in August 2021, Rs. 1 = US$ 0.01348

References: Media Reports, Ministry of Tourism, Press Releases, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Press Information Bureau (PIB), Union Budget 2020-21

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.


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