India has a myriad of culture, languages and traditions. Every   state represents a diversity in demographics and festivals. This is what makes our country a tourist’s glee. From the ice-skating and skiing in Gulmarg in Kashmir to the temperate climates of central India, to the blistering heat of the South – from the palm tree covered the Western Ghats and the beaches of Goa to the luscious greenery of Kerala, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and the beaches of Puri. Geography has offered so much to give and enjoy the variety which is so enchanting.

Then the religious shrives of Amarnath, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Vaishno Devi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kashi, Mathura, Brindaban, Maha Kaleshwar in Ujjai; Tripura, Rameshwaram, Kalibari and Kamaksha in Bengal and Assam, Dargah of Salim Chishti at Fatehpur Sikri and of Nizamuddin Aulia in Ajmer, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Samath, Kushinagar, Gaya and Srivasti of Buddhist and newly built Lotus Temple of Bahais in Delhi. These are the centers of all religions which call a visit. The historical monuments like the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandar at Agra, the Red Fort, the Qutub Minar in Delhi, the Ranthambore Fort, the Amer Fort, Chittor and so many other monuments with which Rajastan glorifies itself. Go south and there is the Charminar and the Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad and the Deogiri Fort and the Daultabad Fort, the Frescos of Ajanta and the Temples of Ellora.

There is so much of diversity that India offers such as the history, culture, religion, nature, climate, handicrafts no other country offers so much. There are centers for handicrafts from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Orissa and Bengal.

A tourist coming to India from a foreign land and wants to see India in all its aspects must spend a year or two to get just a glimpse of what India’s tourist attractions have to offer in all their variety. India has a vast variety and great potential for tourist attraction. But somehow, even when the country has to offer so much, it is regrettable that the tourism department still does not show up that income earned through inflow of tourists as it should.  For some countries, tourism is their main ‘export’. The single city of Bangkok attracts more tourists each year than the whole of India. India has a department of tourism, there is the institute of tourism and Travel Management,  the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, and the India Tourism Development Corporation. But inspite of all this infrastructure to promote tourism, India gets only 0.4% of the global tourist traffic.

The tourism industry in India plays an important role in the economy and is growing at a tremendous rate. It generated Rs. 8.31 lakh crore accounting to 6.3percent of the nations GDP in 2015 and generated 37.315 million jobs(8.7% of it’s total employment). It is found that according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, India was ranked 52nd out of the 141 countries. The report also stated that India has fairly good air transport (ranked 35th), specifically given the country’s level of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 50th). The country has good ranks on natural and cultural resources background  (ranked 12th). People from all over the world are attracted to India for its beauty, its unity in diversity, its festivals, cultures and traditions.  Andhra Pradesh is one of the ‘most preferred’ tourist destination in India according to a survey done by the Economic Times. The places like Tirupati, Srikurmam, Sri Kalahasthishwara  Temple, Thimmamma Marrimanu, Pulicat lake and Prakasam Barrage are major tourist attractions in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Bihar attracts tourists to many places like Gaya, Patna, Kesariya and Sasaram, New Delhi, the country’s capital has several monuments like Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, India Gate, Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple for tourists attraction. Many places like  Jaipur,  Jodhpur,  Jaisalmar and Udaipur  in Rajasthan are known for their palaces and forts. Kerala is famous for places like Munnar, Trivandrum, Cochin and Kovalam for beaches and beautiful scenery.

Indian Government is constantly working towards boosting up all sectors of the economy through increased investment,  provision and subsidies and implementation of suitable laws. Thus, in order to boost tourism industry, the Government of India has decided to implement a new visa policy, which allows the visitors to get hold of a visa on arrival at 16 designated international airports by obtaining and Electronic Travel Authorisation  online before arrival.  Therefore, people don’t have to visit the visa centre or the Indian consulate.

Meghna Viju, Class : 9F

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