Incredible India

The Tourism and Hospitality industry is one of the largest service industries in India.

Tourism is an integral pillar of the Make in India programme. Tourism plays a role of significant economic multiplier and becomes critical since India has to grow at rapid rates and create jobs.

India offers geographical diversity, world heritage sites and niche tourism products like cruises, adventure, medical, eco-tourism, etc. Incredible India has spurred growth in Tourists Arrivals and Employment.

India’s ranking in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) of World Economic Forum moved from 52nd position in 2015 to 40th position in 2017. Now India has moved up by another 6 positions and ranked at 34th position in 2019. 

Despite the pandemic, FY 2020 saw an inflow of  $2.94 bn in investments in Indian tourism as compared to $1.07 bn in FY 2019, a y-o-y growth of 174.7%.

Tourism tends to encourage the development of multiple-use infrastructure including hotels, resorts & restaurants, transport infrastructure (aviation, roads, shipping & railways) and healthcare facilities.

  • By 2028, Tourism & Hospitality is forecasted to earn $50.9 bn as visitor exports compared to $28.9 bn earned in 2018
  • By 2029, Travel & Tourism will account for nearly 53 million jobs as compared to the 43 million jobs directly in 2018 (8.1% of total employment)
  • By 2030, India is expected to be among the top five business travel market
  • By 2029, theTourism sector is expected to grow at 6.7% to reach $35 tn
  • The hospitality sector is expected to touch $460 bn by 2028

100% FDI allowed under automatic route

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

For further details, please refer FDI Policy

  • %

    Share in World Tourist Arrivals

  • %

    Share in World Tourism Receipts

  • %

    Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrival on e-Tourist Visa

  • $ Bn

    Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs)

8th largest tourism economy in the world

Ninth largest in cultural resources and business travel in the world

14.62 mn jobs created by tourism in last four years (between 2014-2018)

Industry Scenario

$460 bn contribution to India's GDP by 2028  

Travel and Tourism was the largest service industry in India was worth $234 bn in 2018. The industry has become one of the largest Foreign Exchange Earners in India with earnings of $29.962 billion over Jan 2019 – Dec 2019 equating a growth of 4.8% over the previous year.

According to The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism generated $194 bn or 6.8% of India’s GDP in 2019 and supported 39.80 Mn jobs which is 8 % of its total employment.

The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to $460 bn by 2028 which is 9.9% of GDP.

FTAs in April 2019 were 7,71,353 viz-a-viz 7,45,051 in April 2018 registering a growth of 3.5%. Further to this, FTAs during the period January-April 2019 were 39,35,293 viz-a-viz 38,60,871 in January- April 2018 registering a growth of 1.9%. 

During April 2019 total of 2,01,137 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1,57,094 during the month of April 2018 registering a growth of 28.0%. Further to this, during January- April 2019, a total of 11,08,665 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 9,18,792 during January-April 2018, registering a growth of 20.7%. During 2019, a total of 2.93 mn foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa registering a growth of 23.6%.

As on December, 2019, e-visa facility has been extended to the nationals of 169 Countries under 5 sub-categories i.e ‘e-Tourist visa’, ‘e-Business visa’, ‘e-medical visa’, ‘e-Medical Attendant Visa’ and ‘e-Conference Visa’. The latest country added is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Global Medical Tourism Market was worth $19.7 bn in 2016 and estimated to be growing at a CAGR of 18.8%, to reach $46.6 bn by 2021. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of around 40% of the global market. The total number of inward medical tourists doubled in a span of just three years in India. In 2017, around 22% arrivals from West Asia was for medical purposes, followed by 15.7% from Africa.


  • Incredible India campaign

    Extending international tourism business in India

  • E-Tourist VISA facility

    E-visa facility extended to 171 Countries under 5 sub-categories i.e ‘e-Tourist visa’, ’eBusiness visa’, ‘e-medical visa’, ‘e-Medical Attendant Visa’ and ‘e-Conference Visa’.

  • Special Tourism Zones (STZ)

    5 STZs in partnership with states to boost tourism in India

  • Medical tourism

    Economical treatment, quality healthcare infra & highly skilled doctors

  • Coastal tourism

    Promote intra-regional trade among Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries


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    Asked Questions

    What are the initiatives taken by the Indian government in the cruise tourism sector?

    The following initiatives have been undertaken by GOI:
    1. The government is in process to develop 5 ports as cruise tourism hubs. These are Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Kochi. These terminals will have facilities such as hospitality, retail, shopping and restaurants.
    2. 200 minor ports to be develop jetties for such cruise vessels.
    3. The cruise tourism policy shall be introduced by government shortly.

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    What are the initiatives taken by the Indian government in the medical tourism sector?

    The following initiatives have been undertaken by GOI:
    1. A new category of visa "Medical Visa" has been introduced by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, which can be given for specific purpose to foreign tourists coming to India for medical treatment
    2. The Ministry of Tourism has included the promotion of Medical Tourism as new initiatives. The Marketing Development Assistance Scheme (MDA), administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, provides financial support to approved tourism service providers.
    3. To boost medical tourism, the government today announced setting up of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board to provide help to those visiting the country for health care need. The Board, besides Ministry officials, will include other stakeholders such as hospitals, hoteliers, medical experts and tour operators.

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    What are the initiatives taken by the Union Government to develop rural tourism in India?

    The tourism ministry has sanctioned INR 131 lakhs for the development of four rural tourism sites. The states in which these sites are Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Tripura.

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    What are the government's initiatives under Lighthouses Tourism in India?

    The GOI has identified 78 lighthouses in the country as centres of tourism, which are in the first phase under Public Private Partnership (PPP). The identified lighthouses are in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The GOI has kick started the ‘lighthouse tourism’ project by inviting initial qualification bids to develop eight lighthouses in the first phase, at a cost of INR 128 crore, under the public-private-partnership model for 7 lighthouses.

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    What is the difference between Prasad Scheme and 'Spiritual Circuit' under Swadesh Darshan Scheme?

    The ‘PRASAD’ scheme, focuses on development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations. Whereas, in the ‘Spiritual Circuit’ identified under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the thrust is on development of particular thematic circuit consisting of various religious/spiritual destination in a State and Union Territory.

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