The tourism industry is one of India’s largest service-providing industries. It is a significant economic growth catalyst, contributing to the employment generation and development of the country. At the same time, it drives the growth of multi-use infrastructure, including hotels, resorts, restaurants, transportation, etc., and healthcare facilities. Currently, the travel and tourism industry is in a prime phase of development. Having dealt resiliently with the setbacks induced by the pandemic, it is now bracing for exponential growth and is aiming to touch the USD 125 billion mark by FY27. Witnessing various trends on its growth path, the G20 Presidency remains noteworthy of them all.
Towards the end of 2022, India assumed the presidency of the G20 Forum, an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries. This year onwards, we started convening the G20 Leaders’ Summit, taking forward the theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or One Earth. One Family. One Future. While this is a momentous event in the history of India, its impact on the travel and tourism industry is significant and cannot be ruled out.
The G20 Presidency’s impact on the travel and tourism industry
India will host over 200 meetings at over 50 locations, including prominent places like Rajasthan, Goa, etc., as well as historical places across 32 diverse work streams. Until April 17, 100 G20 meetings have already been organised. Hosting the G20 Summits is definitely a welcome move for the domestic travel and tourism industry. Driving the sector’s growth
The G20 Presidency’s direct and evident impact is driving the growth of the travel and tourism sector. The government has the vision to touch USD 56 billion forex, with the tourism industry as a major contributor, and intends to create around 140 million jobs in tourism by 2030. The G20 Presidency will help the country reach one step closer to this objective. In fact, it is a one-of-its-kind opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of the Indian tourism sector.
Boosting the travel demand
Due to the G20 Presidency, hotels are already witnessing an increase in bookings and footfall and a significant surge in hotel room pricing. More bookings imply greater sales and revenue and eventually high profit. It is with the G20 Summits that the travel and hospitality industries have started matching the pre-Covid levels. As the meetings are expected to last throughout the year, the majority of the five-star hotels and luxury properties are completely booked beforehand to seamlessly manage the summits. From the last quarter of 2022, prices for five-star hotel rooms in India’s key corporate centres have already increased by almost 20%, owing to the G20 Presidency.
Positioning India as a global tourist destination
Hosting the G20 meetings is helping the lesser-known tourist destinations and heritage destinations across the country, gain prominence at the global level and carve a position for India on the global tourism map. The G20 Presidency offers India a golden opportunity to showcase its rich cultural heritage and tourist destinations, ranging from historic spots, monuments, and religious places to picturesque beaches, majestic mountains, wildlife parks, etc., to international tourists. Our country’s philosophy of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ is finally getting a platform to be highlighted at the global level, all thanks to G20. This will eventually encourage the growth of the country’s foreign tourism industry and promote India as a prominent global tourism destination.
India is making efforts to establish itself as a global MICE destination. This goal has coincided with the G20 Presidency. Hence, it is the right opportunity for the country to showcase its world-class facilities and top-notch hospitality and eventually attract more tourists. With the increase in tourism, the travel sector will also flourish and consequently facilitate an increased demand for travel and bookings.
To sum up
Considering the industry’s trajectory so far, it would be apt to say – ever since Covid-19, the G20 Presidency is the biggest boost to the travel and tourism sector. The timing of the Presidency couldn’t have been any better when the travel and tourism sector is keen to adopt innovations to thrive. All thanks to it, India’s inbound tourism has received a chance to grow and scale.
The G20 Presidency is the opportunity that the industry was waiting for and is now leveraging the most of it. It is not only driving the growth of the industry in the present, but will also provide numerous growth opportunities in the future as well.
The author is CEO and Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip
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