India Is Squandering Its Tourism Potential; What’s Going Wrong?

India Is Squandering Its Tourism Potential; What’s Going Wrong?


There is the Taj Mahal, the Nilgiri mountain ranges, the ruins of Hampi, the Konark Sun Temple, and many, many other tourist sites that dot nearly every kilometre of India’s majestic landscape. And yet, curiously, India receives fewer foreign tourists than the tiny island of Macau. And fewer even than the city of Barcelona. Wait a minute, something’s wrong. Four of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots are in India. The country is also home to 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And yet, not enough tourists are coming to India. What’s going wrong? Well, it’s a combination of factors that we have all come to know quite well the lack of adequate connectivity, not enough hotels available, the searing pollution, the country’s reputation for being unsafe for women, the cumbersome visa process. You know the rest. Some of these factors are obviously exaggerated and overplayed, but perception counts for a lot in these areas. But perhaps the most concerning factor, and one that is not all that discussed, is the poor Indian attitude towards its cultural and heritage sites. It wouldn’t be uncommon for the big-city folks in India to have London, Paris, New York and what not on their bucket lists, but not Assam or Odisha. When the country itself doesn’t celebrate its culture, how can it expect others around the world to give it that privilege? So what can India do? There is one state that is actually doing a good job on the tourism front Rajasthan. Tourism accounts for as much as over 15 per cent of the state GDP. Enterprising rural elites there have converted their ancestral homes into boutique hotels. The economic benefits, as a result, are accruing to rural households, who in turn get an incentive to preserve their heritage. India can definitely take a leaf out of Rajasthan’s tourism book. The idea is simple open the doors wide to tourists everywhere. Let them come in, and make it easier for them to do so. That will help boost India’s soft power and grow its economy even more. And, in the process, if it can help generate enough revenue to lift millions out of poverty, who would complain?

14 thoughts on “India Is Squandering Its Tourism Potential; What’s Going Wrong?

  1. One of the main problem is how Marxist media is defaming our country and culture.
    Holi for example is a massive terror for them.

  2. It should also be duty of indian living in foreign countries to encourage the people of that country to visit india and tell them there about diversity of country

  3. I am from Rajasthan , but different levels of difficulties still intact , a lot of rich art historical sites remains unturn which needs to focus right now , interesting facts
    In raj. Every village or group of villages had their own fort , so if create a chain through these , it will be a blast in tourism.

  4. Why is there lack of knowledge and respect among Indians for Indian heritage?
    Why is there hate/division/something bad cited in every Indian Festival?

    The answer is majority of the heritage sites and festivals are all Hindu/Sanatan Dharma.

    The acceptance that the civilizational heritage of India is Hindu civilization/Indic civilization among all Indians (irrespective of religion) will bring about the right change.

  5. Bad traffic, noise pollution, lack of cleanliness in hotels, spicy food are also some of the reasons. People want to be at peace in holidays, unfortunately, they feel hectic, when in India. Therefore, only the adventurous ones or those with spiritual leaning visit.

  6. सब बदलेगा।
    समय और मोदी सब बदलेगा।
    अभी सफाई अभियान चला रहे है।
    सब बदलेगा।।

  7. The Tourism Industry's Pilgrimage and Historical Heritage Tourism must be empowered and enriched, well financed as a major Economic Growth and Development Sector along with Generation of Jobs

  8. Indian state and central govt need to work on restoration of places like Humpi and many old forts which are scattered across India. ASI must take responsibility of restoration of many old forts, mounments. Facilities like clean drinking water, rest rooms, guides with good english speaking skills and knowledge should be available for foreign tourists. Good & reliable hotels, transport should be available. Proper online booking facilities and detailed information should be available of all tourist places.
    Small country like Thiland generates a revenue of US $ 57 billion from international tourists as compared to just 27 billion US $ for India.

  9. If only our media did the constructive reporting instead of destructive reporting this would have been achieved by now. Media has become nothing but the pados wali chugalkhor aunty

  10. As a male american tourist who has lived in India for a year, The safety for women is one of the biggest contributors. Many Indians have very backwards attitudes and share the same values as those from the middle east. For the same reason, no one wants to vacation in the middle east.

  11. In Maharashtra there are temples, caves, nature like konkan, sancturies, etc. Besides there are many historical mountain forts that are visited in huge numbers especially by youths. There is great trecking thrill here and like anywhere in India huge tourism potential.

  12. Problem is not with India problem is with people….
    Chutiye log bhare hue hai desh me sab jagah kachra karke rakhteh hai to Kay log kachra dekhne ayge?

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