Tourism in India
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Tourism in India

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India is one of the top tourist destinations around the world. It is the 7th largest country in the world having around 1.3 billion of population. The total area of 3,287,263 square km (1,269,219 square mi) that’s why India is often called a subcontinent. Distance from north to south is 3214 km (1997 mi) and from east to west, it is 2933 km (1822 mi). Coastline is 7,516.6 km (4,671 mi) and land frontier is 15,200 km (9,445 mi). India has seven neighboring countries that share its border with. The countries are Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Sri Lanka (from the south-east) and Maldives (from the south-west) are two countries with water borders.

India is surrounded by the Himalayas, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. On one side of India, you can find rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Indus, Kaveri, etc. and on the other side, the Thar Desert attracts tourists. With over 400 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 89 National Parks, and 13 Bio-reserves, India is best known for having the richest biodiversity in the world.

Because of India’s history, India’s culture, and India’s traditions are having very deep roots that’s why it attracts the tourist. There are 22 major languages in India, written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects. The national language is Hindi and the official languages are Hindi and English. India has 29 states and 7 union territories. Every state and every city is rich in its culture, heritage, unique style temples, wildlife sanctuaries, etc. which attract the tourists large in number.

The country is majorly known for its 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and all the other marvels. Taj Mahal, Ajanta Caves, Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Golden Temple, Sanchi Stupa, Red Fort, Mahabalipuram, etc. are many more tourist places in India.

Tourism has an important role in every countries economy. In India also, tourism has a big role in the economy. Government of India initiated “Swachha Bharat Abhiyan” – clean India program to promote tourism. After launching this program, the number of tourists increased in the past couple of years and the industry also growing rapidly. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 ranked India 34th out of 140 countries overall.

As per a report, over 10 million tourists arrived in India in 2017. In 2018, tourism generated ₹16.91 lakh crore (US$240 billion) which is 9.2% of India’s GDP. It generates 42.673 million jobs which are 8.1% of total employment in India. The growth prediction of this industry is 6.9% annually. If the growth will continue like this, this industry will generate ₹32.05 lakh crore (US$460 billion) by 2028 which will be 9.9% of India’s GDP.

Visa policy of India

If you want to come to India, you can apply directly by mail or in-person to their local Indian Embassy or Consulate before the visit. Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal do not require a travel visa to enter India. Citizens of Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, South Africa, and Uruguay are not required to pay a fee when obtaining an Indian visa.

In this online method, visitor requires to apply online on a secure Government of India website at least four to thirty days before the date of travel. Once application submitted correctly, it is checked by the Government of India and then approves by them. Once approval received, take a print out to carry the approved visa with their travel documents. The visa allows the visitor to enter and stay anywhere in India for thirty days; an ETA can be obtained twice in a single calendar year.

India first introduced its “visa on arrival” facility on 27 November 2014 for 40 countries to boost the tourism at 16 designated international airports and now it is expanded to about 180 countries. In April 2015, the “visa on arrival” scheme was renamed as “e-Tourist Visa”. As a result of the new visa policy, 56,477 tourists arrived on an e-Tourist Visa during October 2015, compared with 2,705 tourist arrivals during October 2014, representing a 1987.9% increase. During the period from January to October 2015, a total of 258,182 tourists arrived on an e-Tourist Visa, a 1073.8% increase on the 21,995 tourist arrivals during the same period in 2014 (before the e-Tourist Visa was available). We can say that this government initiative could be a milestone of tourism in India.

Here are the top 7 states of India in a number of foreign tourist visits in 2018.

Rank

State

Number

Share in %

1

Maharashtra

5,078,514

18.9%

2

Tamil Nadu

4,860,455

18.1%

3

Uttar Pradesh

3,104,062

13.3%

4

Delhi

2,379,169

10.2%

5

Rajasthan

1,489,500

6.4%

6

West Bengal

1,475,311

6.3%

7

Kerala

977,479

4.2%

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