The economy of India is described as a developing market economy. The Indian economy is the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product). India ranked 142nd by GDP (nominal) and 119th by GDP (PPP) per capita in 2018 according to IMF. India’s economy was the world’s fastest growing major economy from 2014 to 2019, surpassing China. The long-term growth of the Indian economy can remain positive with investments, savings and its increasing integration into the global economy. By 2024 India can achieve $5-Trillion economy mark if India grows at 12% nominal growth (8% is of GDP and 4% is of inflation). GDP rate of India can be achieved in many ways if proper investment, planning, and utilization of human resource is done. Different sectors contribute to the GDP growth, one of the biggest sector is Travel and Tourism. According to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Indias travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the countrys GDP. This paper highlights a different way to increase Indias GDP through Dark Tourism. Dark tourism which is also known as black tourism and grief tourism, has been defined as tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy. Dark Tourism has its spot in India due to its long history. Mostly people are curious to seek answers from the roads which are less travelled. Travelling has always been related to journey and exploring places but this type of tourism explains how human mind cannot be tamed. Two of the Indias most famous dark tourism spots are Taj Mahal and Cellular Jail. Thousands and lakhs of tourists (domestic and international) visit these places. This brings in huge amount of revenue for the government, which indeed increases the GDP level and it will be a step forward to Indias $5-trillion economy dream. But there are many challenges to achieve such an aspirational growth target. For this all the economic growth levers are to be accelerated. This paper is the generalised outlook on the contribution of dark tourism sector taking two most famous monuments of India as a prime example, challenges related with their contributions to GDP growth and suggestions to change this dream into reality.
Keywords: Indian, Economy, GDP, Dark tourism, Taj Mahal, Cellular Jail
Tourism has been the focus of many studies and researches as it plays an important role in the economic development of a country. Many countries (developed and developing) have considered tourism as option for sustainable development of their nations. Massive investment is done in tourism industry due to its contribution to the economy. From the 1960s onwards tourism has converted from being a relatively small-scale activity into one of worlds largest industries and a fastest growing global economic sector of the world economy. Tourists spend an important amount of money to buy products in a tourist destination place which includes accommodation, food and beverage, recreational activities and many more, this generate a direct effect on business and on the economy. The tourism businesses are related with buying goods and services necessary to satisfy the visitors needs, and the direct incomes are used further to make investments and to buy other goods and services. The expenses made by businesses related with tourism to satisfy the needs of visitors indirectly contribute to the economy. Tourism is not related with just travelling it is also related with buying of goods available over the destination. Tourism industry is the one of the biggest contributors to Indias GDP. India with such a long history has many places which are related to dark tourism. This indeed contribute to the Indias GDP so that the dream of becoming $5 Trillion economy can be achieved by 2024.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The final value of all goods and services produced in a country during a specific period often
annually is measured by GDP in monetary. The OECD defines GDP as “an aggregate measure
of production equal to the sum of the gross values added of all resident and institutional units
engaged in production and services (plus any taxes, and minus any subsidies, on products not
included in the value of their outputs).”
Tourism in India
In India tourism contribute a huge portion in countys economy and its growing rapidly. Tourism generated ?16.91 lakh crore (US$240 billion) or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 and supported 42.673 million jobs, 8.1% of its total employment according to the World Travel and Tourism Council they also included that, sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to ?32.05 lakh crore (US$460 billion) by 2028 (9.9% of GDP). In October 2015, India’s medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3 billion, and it is projected to grow to US$78 billion by 2020. Over 10 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2017 compared to 8.89 million in 2016, representing a growth of 15.6%. During 2018, arrivals through e-tourist visa increased 39.60 per cent year-on-year to 2.37 million. During May 2019, arrivals through e-tourist visa increased by 21.70 per cent year-on-year to 1.23 million.