WTTC’s recent report on future possibilities of tourism in India and its implications on creating employment comes as sweet music not only for the tourism industry but for government too. As per a report published by the apex tourism body, India is likely to add around 10 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector by 2028. Further, the total number of jobs which are dependent in some form on travel and tourism will increase from 42.9 million in 2018 to 52.3 million in 2028.
Commenting on the development, Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, WTTC, iterated that tourism created jobs, besides driving economic growth and helping build better societies. “This is particularly clear in India which is forecast to be one of the fastest-growing tourism economies in the world over the next decade adding 10 million jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy by 2028,” she said.
She attributed the forecasted hike to “some extremely proactive steps which have been introduced by the Government to increase the number of international visitors and to position itself as a destination of choice among travellers worldwide”, adding that in the not too distant future India could strategically lead travel facilitation within the SAARC region by introducing a standard technological solution, modern technology and biometrics. “This will enhance the travel and tourism economies in the region,” she reasoned.
In an interesting observation, sure to find traction among the stakeholders of the Indian tourism industry, she also batted for a more toned-down GST slab rates to ensure competition. “While the country-wide change to GST is a welcome move, the Indian Government could consider looking again at the level of GST in the hospitality sector to make it more competitive with other countries in the region,” she argued.
This report comes at a time when the government has set its sight on doubling international inbound and foreign exchange earning from tourism in the next three years. This bold move was partly initiated after India crossed the ten million international tourist mark for the first time in 2017. The WTTC forecast should come as a shot in the arm for the larger industry and add more weight to government’s bid for improving the quality of experience and overall state of infrastructure.