Travel and Tourism

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Executive summary
Booming industry
Indian travel and tourism experienced a boom during 2004. There was a surge in arrivals and departures as well as robust expansion in domestic tourism. After growing by 15% in 2003, the number of incoming arrivals rose by a hefty 22% in 2004 over 2003. Not surprisingly, incoming tourism receipts also rose sharply by about 16% in 2003 and 32% during 2004. Strong government support

The strong support provided by the government played an important role in boosting tourist arrivals. In particular, the Incredible India publicity campaign implemented by the government during 2002-2004 proved successful in attracting tourists by highlighting the diverse attractions of India. There was also a major improvement in the tourist infrastructure through both private and government initiatives. Resurgence in departures

During 2003, departures declined by 9%, mainly because of the troubled situation in the Middle East, which is the main destination for Indians, as well as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis which adversely affected travel to South East Asian countries. However, this decline will be more than compensated for by trends during 2004, when departures are expected to rise by 20%. The rising incomes of affluent and upper-middle-income consumers led to the increasing popularity of holidays abroad and contributed to growth in departures. Local holiday spirits

Domestic tourism is also expected to grow robustly in 2004 though not to the same extent as international arrivals and departures. Growing incomes as well as improvements in tourist facilities contributed to the expansion in domestic tourism. Sky wars

The major changes in the airlines industry had a strong influence on transportation. Intense competition between private and government-owned carriers took the form of cuts in air fares. A major development was the commencement of operations of India's first low-cost no-frills airlines company, Air Deccan, in 2003. With Air Deccan expanding its network to a national footprint in 2004 and offering very low fares, competition increased for other carriers. This will undoubtedly provide a further impetus to the growth of tourism in India. Upbeat hoteliers

Hoteliers are currently upbeat, due to the surge in arrivals and domestic travel towards the end of the review period, which drove up occupancy rates in popular hotels in India. The top Indian hotel companies concentrate on luxury hotels but there is growing realisation of the potential of budget hotels. With rapidly growing business potential in south Indian cities, the number of hotels in the south rose and is now close to the number in western India which was traditionally the leader. Forced diversification

While travel agents are profiting from the tourist boom, a number of them feel threatened due to cuts in commissions from international airlines. These cuts were motivated by airline companies seeking to cut costs and encourage travellers to book directly, especially through the internet. Hence, many travel agents, unduly dependent on such commissions, are attempting to diversify their operations by providing other travel services. Bright prospects

The Tenth 5-year plan (2002-2007) of the government treats tourism as a major engine of economic growth and employment generation. Under the Plan, total resources of Rs29 billion were allocated towards tourism. Given the strong emphasis of the government on the promotion of tourism and improvement of the tourist infrastructure and the vast untapped potential of India as a destination, there is little doubt that future prospects for Indian tourism are bright. Table of contents

2.1 GDP
Table 1 GDP 1999-2004
2.2 Disposable Income
Table 2 Disposable Income 1999-2004
2.3 Leisure Expenditure
Table 3 Consumer Expenditure on Leisure 1999-2004
3.1 Political and Legislative...
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