Tourism, Real Estate May Take A Hit As Delhi Fails To Clear Its Air, Says Report
When you see tourists in the national capital trying to click selfies wearing anti-pullution masks, you are forced to think. Pollutions levels, you think, have reached such alarming levels that mocking it seems like the only option for the common man, tourists included. It may already be too late to do much about taming it. Sounds rather pessimistic, does it? Here is an eye-opener.
Tourism set to take a hit
According to estimates, 62 per cent of the tourist and non-resident Indians that visits India comes to Delhi. However, the rising pollution levels hit the health of the citizens, it also has an impact on city's tourism. Industry body Assocham believes that pollution has had a negative impact on city's tourism business.
Speaking to a national daily, Pronab Sarkar, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, said that following the rising air pollution many tourists have cancelled their Delhi's Christmas plans.
The tourism scenario
Tourism in Delhi is growing by the day. Not just the scenic tourism, medical tourism is also one of the ways in which the government attracts revenue. According to market reports, international passengers coming to the country grew by 30 per cent recently and it is believed that this could have happened because the government started e-visa for tourists from 160 countries. It is reported that by January 2018, there would be 130 immigration counters to handle the rush at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI). At present, there are 75 immigration counters only. Unfortunately, if steps are not taken, this growing industry that uplifts the health of real estate will witness a slump.
In its report, the Assocham noted, “The ongoing tourism season which is yet to pick up, could see a maximum hit with the Delhi and NCR pollution likely to economic impact in sectors like tourism, transport, automobile and real estate.
We interacted with 350 tour operators reveals international tourists are quite particular about their health and safety and with such negative developments Delhi is bound to drop off from the map of international tourists who will pick 'cleaner' South Asian destination. Even domestic tourists are avoiding Delhi. In comparison, international tourists are more sensitive about green tourism.”
“Along with the tourism, the transportation linked to the tourism, would also take a hit if investment and tourist traffic meets a setback. Transportation is one of the key contributors to the national economy in the services sector. Both transportation and tourism are highly employment-oriented and jobs may be a casualty of the pollution,” it adds.
What is at stake?
*According to a report by Euromonitor International, Top 100 City Destinations Rankings, Delhi is India's most visited city and stands at 21st position in global terms.
*By 2025, the number of tourists is expected to grow to 18.8 million.
*India earns approximately Rs 1.56 lakh crore annually through tourist spends.
*On an average, India receives about 14.4 million tourists annually.
*Minister of State for Tourism, KJ Alphons said that the ministry is eyeing 100 million jobs in tourism within the next five years.