Hospitality: some facts and figures
The figures say it all! Tourism in India has gained immensely from the growth of the Indian economy. Thanks to the fast growing international tourist traffic, foreign exchange earnings have increased from Rs 18,429 crores to Rs 23,828 crores. The sector has also contributed to the economy indirectly through its linkages with other segments such as horticulture, agriculture, poultry, handicrafts and construction where the foreign exchange earnings from tourism account for US $ 3,533 million.
Besides the international tourist, domestic tourists are also fuelling the industry's growth. Over the last two years, the hotel industry has witnessed higher growth rates due to a large number of tourist arrivals, higher occupancy rate (being around 75 per cent in FY'06) and a significant increase in the average room rate (ARR). The major factors contributing to the growth include stable economic and political conditions, booming service industry, FDI inflow, infrastructure development, emphasis on tourism by the centre as well as state governments and tax rationalisation initiatives to bring down the tax rates in line with international levels.
The tourism industry registered a growth rate of 17.3 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals, perhaps the highest in last 10 years. Foreign exchange earnings grew at an even higher rate at 30.2 per cent.
The impending Commonwealth Games in 2010 are also expected to provide a boost to the tourism sector. Leading the room tally, New Delhi is looking to accommodate an estimated 22 hotels, serviced apartments and mixed-use developments, adding approximately 4,900 rooms in various categories over the next three to four years, to meet the demand during the games.
Close on its heels, Kolkata will add another 4,000 rooms to its existing supply by the same year. Gurgaon and Noida too will not be far behind. The growth in Delhi will be supported by improvement in infrastructure in the NCR. The Noida Authority Board has announced the construction of 14 star hotels, out of which six hotels will be five-star followed by five four-star and another three star hotels to be completed by 2009.
From being an important foreign exchange earner, the industry also provides employment to millions of people in India both directly and indirectly. It is estimated that the total direct employment in the tourism sector is around 20 million. There are a host of professional opportunities that the sector provides. These include front office jobs, general administration, house keeping, the food and beverages department and in the maintenance department.