By Dripto Mukhopadhyay
Continuing on the thread left on the last blog post, this one tries to establish with further evidence that Indian domestic tourism can play crucial role in tourism development. I have presented two figures in this blog post. The first one shows how the domestic tourism is growing in the country along with the actual increase in number of domestic tourists from the year 1997 till latest. The other figure presents number of domestic tourists in an index form. A few important features that emerge from the first figure are:
- growth rates fluctuates from year to year due to several reasons; however, it generally maintains a high growth especially in 2000s.
- except 2008, the odd year affected by global recession, the growth rate is mostly over 10% since 2000.
- the actual increase in number of domestic tourists in the country further establishes the contribution of domestic tourists to the country’s tourism activities.
- substantial increase in actual increase has been noticed in 2000s compared to the previous decade
- in most of the years in 2000s the actual increases were over 50 million each year, which is a significant addition to the tourism market
- 2009 experienced an increase to the extent of 87 million, despite the fact that economic recovery in the country from global recession was not really visible till the later part of the year. This also suggests the potential of domestic tourism with vibrant growth years
Figure 2 further highlights the need for paying due attention to the domestic tourism in the country. The graph shows the number of domestic tourists in an index form. Year 1997 has been considered as the base year with an index value of 100. A gradual increase has been clearly depicted by the graph over the years and in 2009 the index value reached to 407. This suggests that within a span of about 12 years the domestic tourism has been increased by more than four folds, which is amazingly high compared to any standard. A simple exponential time trend suggests that in another 5 years, by 2014, the total domestic tourists will reach about 1200 million.
The above points suggest the need for a few important issues that essentially to be addressed by the policy makers to further enrich the tourism activities in the country.
- tourism products should be developed considering the fact the major chunk of the tourism activity will be generated from domestic tourists
- a market segmentation is the need of the hour to understand the requirements as well as develop tourism products catering to these needs
- proper strategy can be developed by the stakeholders to attract domestic tourists from different segments (demographic as well as psycho graphic and others)
- awareness can be developed amongst the tourists towards sustainable tourism so that environmental footprints can be minimized.
To continue the discussion, I will discuss about the tourism market segmentation and its importance to shape a proper tourism market, especially, keeping sustainable tourism development in mind.
Note: The data used for this article was taken from Tourism Statistics at a Glance 2009.