Tourism in India is the one the biggest employment generators. According to Government of India data, every $1 million invested in tourism creates 78 jobs. Accounting for nearly 7% of the GDP, the tourism and hospitality sector is also the third largest foreign exchange earner in India. India’s diverse tourism portfolio attracted 7.7 million foreign tourists in 2014, with 1.1 million tourists from the United States alone – home to a 3 million strong Indian Diaspora. On the other hand, the number of Indian tourists to the United States is estimated to have crossed 1 million for the first time in 2015.

With the extension of the “visa on arrival” facility to more nationalities, foreign tourist arrivals in India almost doubled in 2014 to 39,046 compared to the previous year. As foreign tourist arrivals surge year on year, the Indian Government faces the impending need to upgrade and build its tourism-related infrastructure and offer a business-friendly environment for the hospitality industry to grow. To this extent, India’s FDI policy allows 100% foreign direct investment in tourism and hospitality.

The Council’s Tourism & Hospitality Executive Committee is committed to working with Indian and U.S. policymakers to support India’s tourism and hospitality-related infrastructure projects. The Committee is dedicated to advocate for policies that strengthen India’s transportation infrastructure – railways, road and highways, ports and shipping, civil aviation – to offer better connectivity to travelers. In addition, the Council will work with member companies to promote their goals that include according “industry status” to tourism at the state level to avail of benefits under their industrial policies. 
  • Develop tourism infrastructure through public private partnerships by streamlining permitting processes, land acquisition laws, and labor laws.
     
  • Convey member feedback and support the modernization initiatives of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of Aviation, and Ministry of Railways on their plans to improve regional road connectivity, renovate airports and upgrade facilities at railway stations throughout the country.
     
  • Provide a marketing platform, including through the USIBC website and daily newsletter, to promote tourism and tourism infrastructure.
     
  • Focus on states to identify special tourism zones for development.
     
  • Promote business tourism by upgrading facilities for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourism, and other upcoming products in tourism like sports, education, wellness and medical tourism.

For information on the committee, please contact Nolty Theriot at ntheriot@usibc.com.