The nodal organisation for the development of tourism in India is the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry plays a crucial role in formulating national policies and incentives as well as in coordinating the efforts of the State/Union Territory Governments and the private sector for promotion of tourism. It also catalyses private investment; strengthens promotional and marketing efforts; and helps in providing trained manpower resources.
The ministry, in order to develop tourism in India in a systematic manner and to facilitate investment (both foreign and domestic) into the sector, has made several policy announcements and incentives. The most important being the National Tourism Policy, which has been formulated with the aim to:-
- Position tourism as a major engine of economic growth;
- Harness the direct and multiplier effects of tourism for employment generation, economic development and providing impetus to rural tourism;
- Focus on domestic tourism as a major driver of tourism growth;
- Position India as a global brand to take advantage of the burgeoning global travel trade and the vast untapped potential of India as a destination;
- Acknowledge the critical role of the private sector with Government working as a pro-active facilitator and catalyst;
- Create and develop integrated tourism circuits based on India’s unique civilization, heritage and culture in partnership with States, private sector and other agencies;
- Ensure that the tourists to India gets physically invigorated, mentally rejuvenated, culturally enriched, spiritually elevated and ‘feel India from within’.
As per all such initiatives, now 100% FDI is permitted in hotels and tourism through the automatic route. Also, the estimated foreign exchange earnings during 2006 were Rs.29603.56 crore as compared to Rs. 25172.28 crore during the same period of 2005, showing a growth of 17.6%. These measures along with the embedded advantages of investing in India provide numerous opportunities to the investors in the tourism sector.