The 25th of January is celebrated as the National Tourism Day in our country. Now you would wonder why do we need a tourism day? Well, this day was established by our government in order to promote and raise awareness about the tourism within the country. The things that we boast in our country like our diversity in each state, cultural and traditional practices, conserved heritage spots all make it appealing for tourists within and outside the country. While we dream of visiting the foreign countries, it is time we spare some thoughts to the tourism of our own country. Take a look at some of the astonishing facts about the Indian tourism industry:

  1. Tourism Contributes Immensely to our GDP: India has managed to lure many tourists from around the world every year and the tourism industry has made effective contributions to our Gross Domestic Product. India earned an income of $27 billion from the foreign tourists who visited the country in 2017.
  2. Employment Opportunities: As the number of tourists keeps growing there is an equal need to provide services and facilities to them, which requires more manpower. So the tourism industry plays a very important role in giving more employment opportunities to people. According to the recently released report, tourism industry contributes 12.36% of total employment in the country. The range of employment can be widespread- from a tourist guide, planning tours to someone starting a souvenir shop at a tourist spot. So each year, with the number of tourists rising the scale of employment is also growing.
  3. Fastest Growing Tourism Sector: A study conducted in 2014 ranked India on the 11th number for the fastest growing tourism destinations. The contribution of the industry to the GDP is a very important factor to consider. Offering such a splendid variety of weather, culture, food and language within its borders, it is bound to attract the foreign crowds.
  4. The US is Biggest Market: The most number of tourists visiting the country are from the United States. US is followed by Bangladesh and UK. Other than these India has been attracting people from all over the world. Today more and more Indians also prefer travelling outside India with the sheer number of holiday packages and offers made available. The outbound travel from India is also is forecasted to reach 1.41 million in 2020. This is a good news, the holidaying culture more popular in the west is finally seeping in into the country.
  5. Tourists Increase Every year: One thing we need to consider is India is relatively a cheaper option to travel for the foreign tourists. A place with so much to explore and that too at a relatively low price will always be preferred by travelers. So the number of foreign tourists have been high over the last few years. Tourist arrivals in India increased to 8,91,000 in November from 7,54,000 in October, 2016. It averaged 4,26,846.43 from 2000 until 2016. These numbers are really high, and it is just beneficial to the country’s economy on the whole.
  6. Kumbh Mela: One of the major events that have been attracting people within and outside the country to witness is the Kumbh Mela which occurs every four years. A country that is bound to its roots by the threads of religion, is no surprise that it has the maximum presence on this religious gathering. This is a booming event for the tourism sector. An interesting thing to note is the 2011 Kumbh Mela was the largest gathering of people with over 75 million pilgrims. The crowd was visible from space! So we know what humongous crowd we are talking about.

All of these facts point how important tourism is for the country and also the culture of ‘traveling’ in general. It also highlights that India is on the map very well when it comes to being a popular tourist destination but we definitely have a long way to go. India can become the third fastest growing tourism sectors and we can definitely work upon climbing the ladder.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 25, 2018 03:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website