Tourism industry has emerged as an important instrument in the economic development of Indian economy. Due to its strong backward and forward linkages it generates employment in different profiles and thus increases living standard of people who are directly or indirectly linked with this economically profitable activity. The first tourism policy being introduced in 1982, we have come travelled a long way in the upliftment of socio-economic culture in India. Also the Indian tourism has a clear bright future.
Interesting fact is India is rich in diversified places to visit, but the only thing which keeps tourism industry restricted to growth is non-availability of globally benchmarked services and high domestic flight fares. There is a lot of potential in the Indian tourist market. Unfortunately, that is either not seen or not visible to foreign investors due to low information about such destinations or future prospects in the Indian tourism. That may be concluded as the major reason why despite of Southern India having such beautiful locations, 49% foreign tourists visit Northern India and only 18% tourists go to south. Although necessary, but branding India only on the basis of diversity of tourist places will not lead to expected growth of tourism industry of India.
This paper explains the causes of slow growth and majorly pin points the key areas to be taken care of so that Indian tourism can take a hike on a global platform. This paper
• States the importance of Indian tourism as a catalyst, in the socio-economic development, improving the employment rate and also its contribution in improving the GDP of India.
• Suggests effects of overall development of destination branding policies on the tourist base and foreign investment in tourism sector.
• Enumerates measures to retain the domestic tourists from choosing foreign countries as a tourist destination.
• Captures the very idea of how an improved perception can be developed, not only in the mind of the tourists but the investors as well so as to take Indian tourism on a ride to the very top of the global leader chart.
This study would exhibit that this is the time that Indian tourism undergoes a major change not only by means of flaunting the diversity, but also by showing the positive prospects of investing in India and how we are capable of presenting better results than any other nation globally.
Tourism – an interesting issue
There's a chaos in the world about how India is developing rapidly. Let's get an insight to it, we are the 7th largest economy by method of nominal GDP and 3rd largest by PPP. According to current statistics by the National Council for Applied Economic Research, tourism contributes as much as 6.77% to the total GDP. This can be called as a matter of great pride. But is it justified, that a country as rich in diversity as ours, gets only 6.77% share from tourism. The answer will be a big NO, as we can do much better than this.
On paper, India should be a tourist powerhouse. The country has all the right ingredients - good food, rich culture, beautiful historic monuments, spirituality, and diversity to lure travelers from all over the world. Yet India lags behind Asian tourist hubs like Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and China.
While tourism in India continues to increase, with 6.65 million tourists visiting the country in 2012, it grew just 5% over 2011. Bhutan and Sri Lanka from the same south Asian region recorded over 17% growth in the same year.
Major part of the problem which makes it most interesting from the Indian perspective is, even though we are such a big and fastest growing economy, we do not hold any position in the list of top 10 tourist destinations in the world (Rank: 65), or in Asia and the Pacific Region according to the statistics provided by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as a part of their world statistics Barometer.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Nation Branding
Nation branding is the process of evolving a unique personality or identity for a tourist destination and using a tagline, a symbol, a design or a combination of these to create a positive image and to communicate the same to the tourists . Nation branding is to create ability for a nation to be distinctively identified as a destination by combining all the attributes associated with the Nation and making it different from its competitors . Like any other brand, nations have their own individual identities, which are unique and distinctive amongst themselves ; no two countries are identical. On the basis of those unique identities or attributes, many countries have been branding themselves systematically. Thus, nation branding, which is a new concept in Marketing, is an important instrument in the development of a country and in creating a strong brand of that country .
2.2 Related Studies
• Study by Sunaina Ahuja proposing holistic approach for different destinations using destination branding approach . This study shows how destination branding approach can be used to brand destinations in order to attain a maximum profit level for Incredible India Campaign (IIC).
• Research study on Malaysia  examines the elements of country branding from the perspectives of the citizen of the country. The study constructs their views toward the country using both emotion (affect) and perceptions of competitive advantage and subsequently conceptualizes and tests a framework of internal country-branding elements.
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