Assistant Professor in Commerce, Kaamadhenu Arts and Science, Sathyamangalam.
Tourism is travel for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes with a view to enhancing the knowledge and widening the wisdom of an individual. The World Tourism Organisation defines tourists as “people who travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty four hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.” Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. Busy schedules and competition for quality life have made travel imperative for relaxation and rejuvenation. Travel has contributed immensely for the enrichment of humanity and caused cultural exchange between different civilisations. Dissemination of ideas, crops, technology, cuisines, etc. resulted due to travel of our ancestors in an urge to explore unknown places. Even today, the best practices are learnt by virtue of tourism, thus changing the configuration of human life.
Tourism has been a major social phenomenon of the societies all along. It is widely acknowledged that tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. India a country with tremendous diversity has a lot to offer in terms of tourism and related activities. In other words heritage site, cultural attractions, beaches, health & wellness like yoga & ayurvedic, Indian cuisine provides for huge potential for the tourism sector in India. As the Travel and Tourism industry holds tremendous potential for India's economy it is included among the Core Sectors of the Indian Economy.
Tourism in Indian context
Tourism in India was seen as a mere service sector for a long time. It has now been recognised as an export industry due to its multiple advantages. Though Tourism gained importance belatedly, it has grown at a rapid pace and enhanced its share in international tourist arrivals as well as in foreign exchange earnings. Now, it is one of the largest service industries in India, with a contribution of 6.23 per cent to the national GDP and 8.78 per cent of the total employment in India. According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India will be a tourism hot spot from 2009 to 2018 having the highest ten year growth potential. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 ranked tourism in India sixth, in terms of price competitiveness.
Tourism in Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu has recognised the importance of tourism long ago and facilitated its development in desired directions. Aggressive marketing, synergised development of tourist infrastructure, dovetailing the resources of various departments motivating stakeholders, inculcating tourist friendly culture, exploring new avenues like medical tourism and adventure tourism in the last four years have helped Tamil Nadu Tourism to achieve more than twenty per cent annual growth.
Tourism - An Overview : Tourism industry has the unique advantage of generating employment for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled persons. It ensures inclusive development for the locals. India has got enormous potential to be tapped.
In India, the international tourist arrivals have crossed only five million as against a population of more than one hundred lakhs which is a negligible ratio. India's share of international tourist arrivals is 0.6 per cent. India's share in international tourism earnings is 1.24 per cent. The diversity of tourism products, increased period of stay and better spending avenues have contributed to increase in tourist spending. India's domestic tourism accounts for 4.6 per cent in arrivals as compared to global - domestic tourism. The...