In­dia fastest grow­ing among G20 coun­tries

David Scowsill, Pres­i­dent and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Coun­cil (WTTC), who was on a quick trip to In­dia amidst a busy travel sched­ule, shares find­ings from the lat­est WTTC Eco­nomic Im­pact Re­port with TRAVTALK. We bring you some ex­cerpts from the inte

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On the back­drop of sev­eral un­fore­seen con­di­tions such as ter­ror at­tacks, dis­eases, nat­u­ral calami­ties and po­lit­i­cal changes and in­sta­bil­i­ties, tourism has shown re­silience that has un­de­terred the spirit of trav­ellers around the globe. So much so that WTTC re­ports a 3.3 per cent growth in 2016, the sixth con­sec­u­tive year that the travel and tourism in­dus­try grew faster than the global econ­omy. A 3.8 per cent growth is an­tic­i­pated this year and an av­er­age of 3.9 per cent for the next decade.

South­east Asia (8.3%) was the re­gion with the fastest grow­ing travel and tourism sec­tor in 2016, while other re­gions like South Asia (7.9%), North East Asia (4.6%), Ocea­nia (4.4%) and the Caribbean (3.2%) fol­lowed suit.

In­dia: Po­ten­tial tourism pow­er­house

In­dia has shown a promis­ing per­for­mance in this sce­nario and is the 7th largest tourism econ­omy con­tribut­ing to GDP, in­forms David Scowsill, Pres­i­dent and CEO, WTTC. “In­dia is def­i­nitely one of the in­dus­tries to watch out for, hav­ing reg­is­tered a growth of 8.5 per cent last year,” he says. “We ex­pect sim­i­lar growth to con­tinue this year, av­er­ag­ing at about 6.7-7 per cent. The big­gest ad­van­tage here is the cur­rent govern­ment’s fo­cus on the in­dus­try. Our in­dus­try is one of the five key pil­lars for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and when a coun­try recog­nises that, then a lot of things fall into place – eVisa waiver, de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture, open­ing skies, etc., which will stim­u­late tourism both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

The coun­try’s strong growth has been backed by do­mes­tic travel, which ac­counts for 88 per cent of the sec­tor’s con­tri­bu­tion to GDP in 2016. In ad­di­tion, the re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity scheme is go­ing to ren­der more ac­ces­si­bil­ity in the coun­try by con­nect­ing 42 smaller towns and cities. He com­ments, “In­dia’s boom­ing avi­a­tion in­dus­try is one of the fastest grow­ing in the world. Con­nec­tiv­ity has to do with ev­ery­thing – con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween the LCCs, in­fra­struc­ture build-up. By in­fra­struc­ture, I also mean other as­pects like broad­band and bank­ing which I think is fi­nally tak­ing off.”

How­ever, he men­tions that In­dia’s mar­ket­ing spend needs to be in­creased man­i­fold for a more com­pre­hen­sive cam­paign, ow­ing to the coun­try’s large size. He elab­o­rates, “If In­dia wants to match up to the big­ger mar­kets, then they have to find a way to in­crease the bud­get for mar­ket­ing. That is com­pletely es­sen­tial.”

We ex­pect sim­i­lar growth to con­tinue this year, av­er­ag­ing at about 6.7-7 per cent. The big­gest ad­van­tage here is the cur­rent govern­ment’s fo­cus on the in­dus­try

David Scowsill Pres­i­dent and CEO WTTC

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