UN body gives top slot due to strong economy, good infrastructure, presence of a sizable quantum of branded hotel rooms
GN Bureau | October 8, 2015
In an evaluation carried out for 30 states over the last few months, Maharashtra has been ranked number one in this year's survey on for tourism, travel and leisure.
The state's rank is due to a strong economy, good infrastructure, presence of a sizeable quantum of branded hotel rooms and a variety of demand generators to occupy these rooms. The state of Delhi ranks second. Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu won the third, fourth and fifth place respectively.
As per the tourism highlights 2015 edition published by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the total number of International Tourist Arrivals (ITA) worldwide was 1,133 million in 2014, India attracted 0.67% of the world's international tourist arrivals of which Maharashtra attracted 4.5 million tourists from foreign countries and over 8.4 million domestic tourists, larger than any other state in the country.
The latest survey has been done by HVS, a global hospitality consultancy in association with the World Travel & Tourism Council.
India's travel and tourism economy is poised to grow 7.5% in 2015 over last year, exceeding the 6.9% growth that the global forum has predicted for the South Asian region. By the end of 2015, the travel and tourism sector will contribute Rs8.22 trillion or 7% of India's gross domestic product (GDP) and 37.4 million jobs — almost 9% of total employment, the report said. In comparison during the year 2014, the industry contributed Rs7.64 trillion and 36.7 million jobs to the Indian economy.
Commenting on the development Valsa Nair Singh, secretary state tourism and cultural affairs, GoM, said: "This recognition is prestigious, as Travel and Tourism is an integral part of our economy and we are happy that we stand as No.1 in attracting tourists. This is a team effort, through innovative promotional campaigns, marketing strategies, planned, focused and aggressive ideas we have reached such milestones. We are motivated to do better every day. Our recent thumping success of MITM attracted global buyers and sellers and we are confident to grow over the magic numbers in coming years, making Maharashtra number one destination on the world map."
According to tourism industry experts, the ranking was highly dependent on a strong economy, good infrastructure, presence of a sizeable quantum of branded hotel rooms and a variety of demand generators to occupy these rooms.
"Maharashtra has recorded perfect scores in four parameters – tourist visits, GSDP per capita, effectiveness of marketing campaign and aircraft movement. The state has performed well across all other parameters with the exception of its expenditure on tourism," said an official from state tourism department was quoted in the media.
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