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Domestic Tourism: Is it that !ncredible?

Posted on: May 19, 2008

Way away from femininity, a Danish couple spend their moments idly in the backwaters of Kerala. And sipping coffee next to them are the elderly couple from Himachal. A usual sight? This article talks about domestic tourism and the latest developments on this terrain.

With the Incredible India campaign becoming synonymous to the great tourism revolution, there has been huge investment in the tourism sector of India. A total of 4.98 million tourists visited India in full-year 2007, representing an 11.9% year-on-year increase on 2006. In comparison, the government sites show latest figures of domestic travel in year 2006 as 461.16 million. Needless to say, in spite of the volumes, the revenue earned from domestic tourism is minuscule when compared to that from foreign tourism. This has led to a stratified tourism planning and development for the country. While exotic tourist destinations get developed and customized for foreign tourists, many of them are losing affordability for the average Indian. With growth of hospitality, aviation, hotels and railways infrastructure, there is huge scope of overall development of all tourist locations promoting greater domestic tourism and increasing employment opportunities. But sadly, not much has happened.

There are numerous pointers but here’s a few. Most tours and travels are highly expensive when compared to the costs incurred by self organized tourists and there is no established authentic check for such packages. While the wanderlusts enjoy the fun of unorganized trips, the family man pays a hefty sum for an organized tour. Commercialization in this sector has not come with a price reduction due to competition solely because information in this sector is not organized, especially for the budget traveller. With increased fares for short distance travel by air, travellers are looking back to alternatives like railways and roadways which are still not developed uniformly throughout the country.

There can be a lot of discussion on the various kinds of tourist destinations and packages, but a holistic picture surely shows higher concentration for development of expensive tourism with a lot yet to be done on domestic tourism with price affordability. Should we bother, considering the revenue share of domestic travel? According to me, yes. There still awaits a huge potential to develop, a sizable market not serviced well.

– Nemo

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4 Responses to "Domestic Tourism: Is it that !ncredible?"

Welcome Nemo. First up isn’t today’s budget traveller availing the previously unavailable air travel ? Therefore your reference to people getting back to railways and roadways a bit misplaced.

There are examples of product bundling being carried out by Yatra / Makemytrip where they offer cheap air tickets + accomodation as well. So where is the information shortage ?

Railways and roadways not fully developed uniformly throughout the country ??
-egghead

Hey Egghead! Good to get a response!
My whole point was of air travel losing its affordability owing to the rising fuel prices. For more info, check: economictimes.indiatimes.com/…/Sky-high_crude_grounds_local_tourists/articleshow/3087135.cms
The railway and roadway network development is indeed highly skewed. For example, lets say, Karnataka has interlinked its tourist spots but the eastern states haven’t.
The business structure of the sites you have mentioned will entail a long discussion so i’ll spare it for another article!
-Nemo

hey nemo, nice article.
Don’t u think that the tourism sector in India is in a phase that is making the shift towards a holistic tourist destination. As of now, Yes, the focus is on foreign tourists and exotic locales. But that is bound to happen because of the higher margins that they provide. The number of self planned trips made by the average Indian family has been increasing at a very fast pace and it is a matter of time before a market is created to cater to this segment. And with this there is also much more information available on the web about ways and hays to travel. But agree with u on the competition though, more of which is required to make this industry structured.

Point taken spooky! Maybe i’m in a hurry!

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