A study conducted by an industry body projects massive loss to India’s tourism and associated sectors due to the deteriorating air quality in the capital city as tourists are particularly careful about health and safety.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – India’s capital city Delhi and its suburbs are likely to suffer a massive economic setback due to the carcinogenic pollutants the area is currently engulfed in. The impact would have a spillover effect on sectors like tourism, transport, automobile and real estate all over the country.
A survey prepared by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), a major industry lobby group, 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, according to the study.
“November and December are the peak months wherein foreign travelers visit India. Majority of them opt for the Golden Triangle tourist circuit that comprises Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Tour operators and hoteliers clearly point out a deep concern over the negative impact the pollution can cause to the economy,” ASSOCHAM said.
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India hosts approximately 14.4 million international tourists annually and earns $23 billion in foreign exchange. Most of them visit the country in the period between November and February. Such alarming level of pollution could have a devastating effect on India’s aim to create 100 million jobs through tourism and attract 40 million foreign tourists annually in the next five years.
”We have set an aim of providing 100 million jobs through the tourism sector and (attracting) 40 million foreign tourists annually into India in the next five years. Today, we are providing about 43 million jobs,” KJ Alphons, India’s Minister of State for Tourism had told last week.
Bad air also risks another major contributor to country’s growth — transport.
“Transport would also take a hit if investment and tourists traffic gets a setback. The 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,” the ASSOCHAM paper noted.
However, currently, no major cancellation has been recorded as money is paid in advance. But during the peak tourist season, foreigners who are still in the planning stage are likely to become skeptical about visiting Delhi.