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New Dawn and never ending hopes...
  • January 2018

New Dawn and never ending hopes...

One more new year has just arrived. Another page of the calendar vanishes with despair and uncertainty for some, with happiness and profits for some others. New Year always comes with resolutions, hopes and targets to focus and work for achievements.

According to latest report by UNWTO, International tourist arrivals grew by a remarkable 7% in 2017 to reach a total of 1,322 million. This strong momentum the highest in seven years is expected to continue in 2018 at a rate of 4%-5%.

2017 was characterised by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that suffered decreases in previous years. Results were partly shaped by the global economic upswing and the robust outbound demand from many traditional and emerging source markets, particularly a rebound in tourism spending from Brazil and the Russian Federation after a few years of declines.

The reports also predicts that current strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018, though at a more sustainable pace after eight years of steady expansion following the 2009 economic and financial crisis. Based on current trends, economic prospects and the outlook by the UNWTO Panel of Expert,  UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals worldwide to grow at a rate of 4%-5% in 2018. This is somewhat above the 3.8% average increase projected for the period 2010-2020 by UNWTO in its Tourism Towards 2030 long-term forecast. Europe and the Americas are both expected to grow by 3.5%-4.5%, Asia and the Pacific by 5%-6%, Africa by 5%-7% and the Middle East by 4%-6%.  Asia and the Pacific (+6%) recorded 324 million international tourist arrivals in 2017. Arrivals in South Asia includes India, Sri Lanka and Maldives were grew by 10% in the last year.

India as one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the world, both in terms of inbound traffic and outbound traffic. The only nation in the world that can offer everything for travellers including snow-clad peaks, deserts, mountains, wild life sanctuaries, palm-fringed backwaters,  green carpets of paddy fields, grasslands, caparisoned elephant and the list is endless.

Our country is not just a nation, but a subcontinent of a million surprises.  We have the potential to make this land the number one tourist destination in the world. Unfortunately we have several hurdles, on many fronts, on the way to achieving this goal.  

Criticisms, recommendations and suggestions to improve the destinations may be endless. But, at this juncture, we require some drastic and focused strategy and action to achieve our target in near future.  Hope the new team headed by Mr. Alphons Kannanthanam will lead us in the right direction to achieve our target of 2 % International travellers in 2030 , with the support and cooperation of a strong and matured Indian travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation contingent.

Tourism India wishes all our readers a productive and prosperous New Year wishes!

 

Ravisankar K.V.

Editor