Julia Simpson, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is optimistic about the India market and said that the humongous aircraft orders by Indian airlines in recent times is an indicator that the tourism sector has tremendous potential.
Julia Simpson, President & CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), was recently in Goa to address the G20 Summit, on the sidelines of which she also highlighted the WTTC’s 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR).
Talking about India’s potential in tourism, she said, “A great credit to India’s PM (Prime Minister) and the ministers for the rapid building of infrastructure. It is rather critical to developing the tourism sector. And we have seen a lot of airports and roads are being built. You need good infrastructure; that is an absolute pre-requisite. Another good indicator is aircraft orders. We have seen at the Paris Air Show this month that airlines such as IndiGo has ordered 500 A-320s and that is a massive order! Air India firms up orders for 470 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Airlines will only put those orders in if they know they will have the demand to fly them. I think India is in a very auspicious period for tourism in India. it is building very, very strongly. It represents 7 per cent of India’s GDP now and we are going to be seeing that number increase.”
The research reveals this sector’s strong recovery in numbers. Highlighting the sector’s resilience, growing at twice the rate of GDP not only in India, but across all G20 nations, Simpson said that WTTC research forecasts tourism contributing `16.5 trillion to the Indian economy this year, just 3.5 per cent below 2019. The sector is forecast to create over 1.6 million more jobs this year, recovering almost all the jobs lost due to the pandemic to reach almost 39 million, with around one in 13 workers in India in the sector.
International visitor spend in India is forecast to reach over `2 trillion with domestic visitor spend forecast to reach more than `12.6 trillion. Simpson said, “The G20 Presidency provides India with the opportunity to highlight the economic and social value of tourism at a critical moment for the global economy. “Minister Reddy has shown great leadership, rallying the G20 Ministers under the Goa Roadmap, showing the world that tourism boosts economies whilst meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Growth will be double GDP, but we need governments to focus on reliable energy and sustainable aviation fuel production.”
Last year also saw a 125 per cent increase in international visitor spending in India, reach more than `1.6 trillion. Domestic visitor spend grew 86 per cent last year to reach more than `12.3 trillion. It is now just 1 per cent behind pre-pandemic levels.
Visitor spend in India (in Rs.)
2022: 1.6 trillion (international) and 12.3 trillion (domestic)
2023: 2 trillion (international) and 12.6 trillion (domestic)
2033: 4.1 trillion (international) and 28.7 trillion (domestic)