India’s travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, according to a new report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). India is one of the countries that improved the most as it gained 12 places in Asia, but lagged behind its other Asian peers like Japan and China which were ranked way ahead at 4th and 13th place, respectively. Spain is ranked at the top in the list.According to data, the travel and tourism sector generated Rs 14.1 trillion (USD208.9 billion) in 2016, which isworld’s 7th largest in terms of absolute size; the sum is equivalent to 9.6% of India’s GDP. Additionally, the sector created 40.3 million jobs in 2016, which ranks India 2nd in the world in terms of total employment generated. The sector accounts for 9.3% of the country’s total jobs.
India’s Travel and Tourism sector was also the fastest growing amongst the G20 countries, growing by 8.5% in 2016. A further 6.7% growth is forecast for 2017. However, there is a lot of potential for India to grow their visitor exports. Over the past few months India has already starting to address this gap and made significant changes to visa facilitation, which will help to boost international arrivals. WTTC data suggests that visitor exports will grow by 5.4% in 2017. We encourage the Indian government to continue to adopt policies that encourage travellers, such as the new visa regime, enable investment in vital infrastructure, and allow companies to do business. India is a beautiful and diverse tourism destination, with the right policies in place it will no doubt continue to grow towards ranking even higher in terms of its tourism economy.