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Indian Hospitality's Steady Transformation

Piyush Tiwari, Director-Commercial & Marketing, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC)
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Piyush Tiwari, Director-Commercial & Marketing, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC)
Headquartered in New Delhi, India Tourism Development Corporation is a Public Sector Undertaking reporting to Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The entity works for developing and supporting the hospitality industry in India.

Given the tourism and hospitality sector's immense potential in generating jobs and revenues, the Centre has been undertaking many initiatives to boost the industry. For millennia, travellers from far-flung nations have been visiting India, considered the Land of Knowledge, Tradition and Diversity in ancient times. The travel and tourism industry as we know it presently, however, has only evolved during recent decades. Indian tradition always accorded the highest status to a guest and 'Atithi Devo Bhava' (the guest is akin to God) summarises the Indian concept of hospitality. This is also evident from the fact that most invaders who came to India, barring some like the British, were completely amalgamated in Indian society, never to go back.

Till some years ago, tourism in India was considered a leisure activity, limited only to financially secure sections of society. But increasing income levels, better infrastructure, improved means of communication and the ease of planning travel and stay has given a big boost to even domestic tourism in India. Today, Tourism and Hospitality is the country's largest service industry and among the top 10 fastest-growing ones. But, voicing a slogan and living it in real life are two different things. While most people from the industry are courteous to guests, there are more than a few who don't really treat them as akin to God. For them, a tourist is merely a prospective source of one-time income. This is testified by tourists who have had unhappy experiences while travelling across the country. Although rare and exceptional, such incidences do occur and are highlighted by the media more than required, bringing disrepute to the country as a tourist destination.

It is therefore, important all Indians keep this slogan in mind when interacting with tourists, be it domestic or overseas ones. At all times, no distinction should be made between domestic & foreign tourists, with each being treated with utmost respect.

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