India should allocate funds to develop 'high-end' tourism, focus on hosting global biz events: Report

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The government should allocate funds for developing 'high-end' tourism to bring in wealthier visitors, besides focusing on making India the leading country for hosting business events to revive the tourism sector, a report has said.

The 'Rebuilding Tourism For the Future 2022' report, prepared by Nangia Andersen LLP in association with Ficci, said post COVID, a new term 'Bleisure travel' was coined, which is the rise of professionals who are mixing businesses with leisure activities.

The trend has been seen in young professionals who had the option of work from home, and they decided to find a place where they could work as well as enjoy nature.

Nangia Andersen LLP's Head of Government & Public Sector Advisory Suraj Nangia said, "Travellers and local tourists are embracing technology for a better experience, including making reservations and finding out what the best travel options are." He believes that artificial intelligence (AI) tools and metaverses will be widely used in the future to provide a virtual experience before actual travel begins.

The report suggested that for the tourism sector to recover, India should develop itself as the leading country for hosting business events, as well as promote high-end tourism.

"Focus should be placed on improving the attractiveness of the India's already strong offer and become the 'World's Meeting Place', with the creating more business events, attracting more to our shores, and growing international audiences -- leveraging the attendance of government to do so," it said.

The report noted that India has immense potential for development of world-class adventure activity infrastructure.

"The government should develop a Roadmap for Adventure Tourism to promote a structured and sustainable development. This niche has a potential to promote India as a 365-days destination," it said.

The report said after considering the change in consumer behaviour following COVID-19, such as a renewed and increased desire for experiential travel, the government should launch certain festivals/events that can be an attractive offering for travellers.

In 2020, the travel and tourism industry's contribution to the GDP was USD 121.9 billion; this is expected to reach USD 512 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the Indian tourism sector accounted for 31.8 million jobs, which was 7.3 per cent of the total employment in the country. By 2029, it is expected to account for about 53 million jobs. PTI JD ABM