An Opportunity in India
White Paper Series
Definition of Eco Tourism
In 2001 India had more than 2.5 million inbound
visitors and 234 million domestic tourists every year.
resource preservation.- World Wide Fund for
The travel and tourism industry accounts for nearly
Tourism to protect natural resources, as a
means of economic gain through
6% of India’s jobs and 4.8% of GDP, taking into
Responsible travel to natural areas that
account direct and indirect employment.
conserves the environment and
well-being of local people – TIES (The
International Ecotourism Society)
But this is set to grow further.
The World Travel and Tourism Council predict that
Tourism that sustains or enhances the
geographical character of the place being
visited -- its environment, culture, aesthetics,
in 2003 alone, tourism demand in India will increase
by more than 7%, to US $30.1 billion. Over the next
decade, the Council predicts:
heritage and residents' well-being.
Following diagram will help more in understanding
8.8% annual growth in tourism demand
the concept of ecotourism
7.9% growth per annum in tourism-related
10.5% annual growth in overseas visitors
7.5% increase per annum in capital
investment in tourism
expenditure on tourism
Why Eco Tourism?
As the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry,
ecotourism is an attractive investment proposition.
Estimates of its relative significance in terms of
global tourism expenditure vary considerably. For
certain countries which are primarily ecotourism
destinations, the figures are even more striking. For
5.1% annual growth in government
The World Tourism Organization predicts that:
India will be hosting 5.08 million tourists in
That figure will rise to 8.90 million by 2020
Ecotourism if properly implemented can integrate
conservation and rural development by helping to
protect valuable natural areas, by generating income,
stimulating economic development through tourism
expenditures and providing jobs and market for local
Costa Rica, and Ecuador, particularly the Galapagos
islands, earned US$ 275 and US$ 193 millions
respectively in 1990. Clearly, ecotourism becomes
the most significant tourism segment for many
goods. The effect on the local level can be anywhere
from minimal to substantial, depending on the scale
of ecotourism relative to the size of the local
Ecotourism provides several benefits, including:
Size of the area – this impacts the optimum
tourist carrying capacity of that area.
Work opportunities for local people
Accessibility - by road, railways and airport.
Indirect employment generation for people
in other states
information centers, provision of good
accommodation and food.
Lack of capital and expertise - among the
local community is a serious obstacle to
their ability to establish tourism businesses.
foreign exchange earning
Education and proper training of tourist
guides are critical factors.
income for business and individuals
Cultural compatibility: between the tourists
and the local people.
environment due to influx of tourists
broadens economic base
India - Opportunity beckons
inter-sectoral linkages can occur
Tourism attractive aspects of India
encourages entrepreneurial activity