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Incredible India

Tourism is an integral pillar of the Make in India programme. Tourism with its possible role of a significant economic multiplier becomes very critical since India now has to grow at rapid rates and create jobs. The Government has undertaken various initiatives through policy interventions and by enabling infrastructure development to make ‘Incredible India’ a ‘must revisit, must experience’ destination. As per Budget 2017-18, Incredible India 2.0 has been proposed to promote tourism and employment.

India has moved 12 places up from 52nd to 40th position in Travel and Tourism Competitive Index of World Economic Forum (released on 5th April 2017). In last three years (2014-17) India has cumulatively improved its ranking by 25 places.
India ranked 24th in Number of International Tourist Arrivals as per UNWTO Barometer 2017 report

  •  By 2025, USD 109.62 bn of Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism compared to FEEs USD 23.15 bn in 2016
  •  By 2022, International hotel chains are expected to account for 50% share in the Indian hospitality industry, from the current 44%
  •  By 2030, India is expected to be ranked among the top five business travel market


100% FDI allowed under automatic route

100% FDI allowed in tourism construction projects, including the development of hotels, resorts and recreational facilities

for more details refer FDI Policy 2017


  • Seventh largest tourism economy in the world
  • Ninth largest in cultural resources and business travel in the world
  • 58.5% growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals on e-Tourist Visa in January, 2018 over January, 2017

Industry Scenario

USD 424 bn contribution to India's GDP by 2027

India ranks first in world in terms of direct contribution to employment (2016) by travel and tourism. Around 40.3 mn jobs were supported by travel and tourism in 2016 which accounted for 9.3% of the country's total jobs. Additionally, 25.9 mn new jobs were created by travel & tourism in India in 2017.

The sector’s total contribution to GDP stood at USD 230 bn in 2017 accounting for 9.4% and is expected to further grow to USD 424 bn by 2027.

In 2016, foreign tourist arrival (FTAs) in India stood at 8.8 mn while domestic tourist visits to States/UTs stood at 1.6 bn. A growth of 8.4% was witnessed in FTAs in January 2018 over January 2017. 58.5% growth in FTAs was recorded for e-Tourist Visa in January 2018 over January 2017. By 2027, international tourist arrivals in India is expected to reach 15 mn, according to the World Economic Forum.

Growth Drivers

Tourism GD
  • Share of India’s ITAs in World Tourist Arrivals ( %, 2016)


  • Share of India in World Tourism Receipts (%, 2016)


  • Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrival (in March 2018 over March 2017)


  • Annual Growth Rate in Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism (April 2018 over 2017)


Key policies

National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana Drive

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, launched the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme on 21st January, 2015, with a focus on holistic development of heritage cities. The scheme aims to preserve and revitalise soul of the heritage city to reflect the city’s unique character by encouraging aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative & secured environment. The Scheme supports development of core heritage infrastructure projects which shall include revitalization of urban infrastructure for areas around heritage assets identified / approved by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and State Governments. These initiatives shall include development of water supply, sanitation, drainage, waste management, approach roads, footpaths, street lights, tourist conveniences, electricity wiring, landscaping and such citizen services.

National Tourism Policy

Objective of the policy is positioning tourism as a major engine of economic growth and to harness its direct and multiplier effects for employment and powerty eradication in an environmentally sustainable manner.

PRASAD-Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive

Mission is to identify and develop pilgrimage tourist destinations on the principles of high tourist visits, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner by synnergizing efforts to focus on needs and concerns of all stakeholders to enrich religious/ spiritual tourist experience and enhance empoyment opportunities

Swadesh Darshan scheme

Mission is to develop theme based tourist circuits on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner by synnergizing efforts to focus on needs and concerns of all stakeholders to enrich tourist experience and enhance employment opportunities.

FDI Facts

  • FDI equity inflows (in USD) during April 2017 - June 2017

  • FDI inflows (in USD) in hotel & tourism during April 2000 - December 2017

  • Foreign Exchange Earnings (in USD) from tourism (January - June 2017)

Recent Investments

  • May 2017 -, China's largest travel portal, has bought a stake in India's largest travel portal MakeMyTrip for USD 180 mn via convertible bonds, which allows Ctrip to increase its share in MakeMyTrip up to 26.6%

  • September 2016 - The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in Ministry of Tourism has approved projects to the tune of USD. 68.89 mn for development of Heritage circuit in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh, North East Circuit in Sikkim and Coastal Circuit of Tamil Nadu.

  • January 2016 - Goldman Sachs has invested USD 66 mn for a significant minority stake in Indian hotel investment and development firm Samhi Hotels. Samhi, which operates 10 hotels and is developing 16 more, will use the money to grow its portfolio to about 30 to 35 properties.

  • February 2015 - Thai firm Onyx Hospitality, which runs the Amari brand of hotels, has set up a joint venture with hotel asset management firm Kingsbridge India to set up 7 hotels in the country by 2018 for which the JV will raise USD 100 mn.

Major Investors