A project report on tourism-2003

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A project report On Tourism Sector Prepared by Virendra Rana Submitted to Mr. V. Agarwal At Parul Institute of Management

Transcript of A project report on tourism-2003

Page 1: A project report on tourism-2003

A project report

On

Tourism Sector

Prepared by

Virendra Rana

Submitted to

Mr. V. Agarwal

At

Parul Institute of Management

Page 2: A project report on tourism-2003

Introduction to Tourism

Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism

Organization defines tourists as people who

"travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty-four (24) hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.”

Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2008, there were over 922 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 1.9% as compared to 2007. International tourism receipts grew to US$944 billion (euro 642 billion) in 2008, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 1.8%.

As a result of the late-2000s recession, international travel demand suffered a strong slowdown beginning in June 2008, with growth in international tourism arrivals worldwide falling to 2% during the boreal summer months.[3]

This negative trend intensified during 2009, exacerbated in some countries due to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, resulting in a worldwide decline of 4% in 2009 to 880 million international tourists arrivals, and an estimated 6% decline in international tourism receipts.[4]

Tourism is vital for many countries, such as Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Spain and Thailand, and many island nations, such as The Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives, Philippines and the Seychelles, due to the large intake of money for businesses with their goods and services and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. These service industries include transportation services, such as airlines, cruise ships and taxicabs, hospitality services, such as accommodations, including hotels and resorts, and entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, music venues and theatres.

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Definition of Tourism:In 1976, the Tourism Society of England's definition was: "Tourism is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destination outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes." Theobald (1994) suggested that "etymologically, the word tour is derived from the Latin, 'tornare' and the Greek, 'tornos', meaning 'a lathe or circle; the movement around a central point or axis'. This meaning changed in modern English to represent 'one's turn'. The suffix –ism is defined as 'an action or process; typical behavior or quality', while the suffix, –ist denotes 'one that performs a given action'. When the word tour and the suffixes –ism and –ist are combined, they suggest the action of movement around a circle. One can argue that a circle represents a starting point, which ultimately returns back to its beginning. Therefore, like a circle, a tour represents a journey in that it is a round-trip, i.e., the act of leaving and then returning to the original starting point, and therefore, one who takes such a journey can be called a tourist.

In 1994, the United Nations classified three forms of tourism in its Recommendations on Tourism Statistics:[10]

Domestic tourism, involving residents of the given country traveling only within this country.

Inbound tourism, involving non-residents traveling in the given country. Outbound tourism, involving residents traveling in another country.

HistoryWealthy people have always travelled to distant parts of the world, to see great buildings, works of art, learn new languages, experience new cultures and to taste different cuisines. Long ago, at the time of the Roman Republic, places such as Baiae were popular coastal resorts for the rich. The word tourism was used by 1811 and tourist by 1840.[23] In 1936, the League of Nations defined foreign tourist as "someone traveling abroad for at least twenty-four hours". Its successor, the United Nations, amended this definition in 1945, by including a maximum stay of six months.[5]

Leisure travel

Leisure travel was associated with the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom – the first European country to promote leisure time to the increasing industrial population.[citation needed] Initially, this applied to the owners of the machinery of production, the economic oligarchy, the factory owners and the traders. These comprised the new middle class. Cox & Kings was the first official travel company to be formed in 1758.[24]

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The British origin of this new industry is reflected in many place names. In Nice, France, one of the first and best-established holiday resorts on the French Riviera, the long esplanade along the seafront is known to this day as the Promenade des Anglais; in many other historic resorts in continental Europe, old, well-established palace hotels have names like the Hotel Bristol, the Hotel Carlton or the Hotel Majestic – reflecting the dominance of English customers.

Many leisure-oriented tourists travel to the tropics, both in the summer and winter. Places of such nature often visited are: Bali in Indonesia, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Mexico the various Polynesian tropical islands, Queensland in Australia, Thailand, and Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico in the United States.

Winter tourism

Major ski resorts are located mostly in the various European countries (e.g. Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland), Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Kenya and Tanzania.

Mass tourism

High rise hotels such as these in Benidorm, Spain were built across Southern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s to accommodate mass tourism from Northern Europe.

Mass tourism could only have developed with the improvements in technology, allowing the transport of large numbers of people in a short space of time to places of leisure interest, so that greater numbers of people could begin to enjoy the benefits of leisure time.

In the United States, the first seaside resorts in the European style were at Atlantic City, New Jersey and Long Island, New York.

In Continental Europe, early resorts included: Ostend, popularised by the people of Brussels; Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) and Deauville (Calvados) for the Parisians; and Heiligendamm, founded in 1793, as the first seaside resort on the Baltic Sea.

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Adjectival tourism

Adjectival tourism refers to the numerous niche or specialty travel forms of tourism that have emerged over the years, each with its own adjective. Many of these have come into common use by the tourism industry and academics.[citation needed] Others are emerging concepts that may or may not gain popular usage. Examples of the more common niche tourism markets include:

Agritourism Culinary tourism Cultural tourism Ecotourism Extreme tourism Geotourism Heritage tourism

LGBT tourism

Medical tourism Nautical tourism Pop-culture tourism Poverty tourism Religious tourism Space tourism War tourism

Wildlife tourism

Types of Tourism: Sustainable tourism

"Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems." (World Tourism Organization)

Sustainable development implies "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)[26]

Ecotourism

Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is responsible travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and (often) small scale. It helps educate the traveler; provides funds for conservation; directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for different cultures and for human rights.

Pro-poor tourism

The pro poor tourism has to help the very poorest in developing countries has been receiving increasing attention by those involved in development and the issue has been addressed either through small scale projects in local communities and by Ministries of

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Tourism attempting to attract huge numbers of tourists. Research by the Overseas Development Institute suggests that neither is the best way to encourage tourists' money to reach the poorest as only 25% or less (far less in some cases) ever reaches the poor; successful examples of money reaching the poor include mountain climbing in Tanzania or cultural tourism in Luang Prabang, Laos.[27]

Recession tourism

Recession tourism is a travel trend, which evolved by way of the world economic crisis. Identified by American entrepreneur Matt Landau (2007), recession tourism is defined by low-cost, high-value experiences taking place of once-popular generic retreats. Various recession tourism hotspots have seen business boom during the recession thanks to comparatively low costs of living and a slow world job market suggesting travelers are elongating trips where their money travels further.

Medical tourism

When there is a significant price difference between countries for a given medical procedure, particularly in Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe and where there are different regulatory regimes, in relation to particular medical procedures (e.g. dentistry), traveling to take advantage of the price or regulatory differences is often referred to as "medical tourism".

Educational tourism

Educational tourism developed, because of the growing popularity of teaching and learning of knowledge and the enhancing of technical competency outside of the classroom environment. In educational tourism, the main focus of the tour or leisure activity includes visiting another country to learn about the culture, such as in Student Exchange Programs and Study Tours, or to work and apply skills learned inside the classroom in a different environment, such as in the International Practicum Training Program.

Creative tourism

Creative tourism has existed as a form of cultural tourism, since the early beginnings of tourism itself. Its European roots date back to the time of the Grand Tour, which saw the sons of aristocratic families traveling for the purpose of mostly interactive, educational experiences. More recently, creative tourism has been given its own name by Crispin Raymond and Greg Richards, who as members of the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS), have directed a number of projects for the European Commission, including cultural and crafts tourism, known as sustainable tourism. They have defined "creative tourism" as tourism related to the active participation of travelers

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in the culture of the host community, through interactive workshops and informal learning experiences.[28]

Meanwhile, the concept of creative tourism has been picked up by high-profile organizations such as UNESCO, who through the Creative Cities Network, have endorsed creative tourism as an engaged, authentic experience that promotes an active understanding of the specific cultural features of a place.

More recently, creative tourism has gained popularity as a form of cultural tourism, drawing on active participation by travelers in the culture of the host communities they visit. Several countries offer examples of this type of tourism development, including the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Spain, Italy and New Zealand.

Dark tourism

One emerging area of special interest tourism has been identified by Lennon and Foley (2000) as "dark" tourism. This type of tourism involves visits to "dark" sites, such as battlegrounds, scenes of horrific crimes or acts of genocide, for example: concentration camps. Dark tourism remains a small niche market, driven by varied motivations, such as mourning, remembrance, education, macabre curiosity or even entertainment. Its early origins are rooted in fairgrounds and medieval fairs.

Tourism Competitiveness Report:The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report was first published in 2007 by the World Economic Forum. The 2007 report covered 124 major and emerging economies. The 2008 report covered 130 countries and the 2009 report expanded to 133 countries.

The index is a measurement of the factors that make it attractive to develop business in the travel and tourism industry of individual countries, rather than a measure of a country attractiveness as a tourist destination. The report ranks selected nations according to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which scores from 1 to 6 the performance of a given country in each specific sub index. The overall index is made of three main sub indexes:

(1) Regulatory framework;

(2) Business environment and infrastructure; and

(3) Human, cultural, and natural resources.

The Report also includes a specific Country Profile for each of the nations evaluated, with each of the scores received to estimate its TTCI, and complementary information regarding key economic indicators from the World Bank, and country indicators from the World Travel and Tourism Council.

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Variables

For the 2008 index, each of the three main sub indexes is made of the scoring of the following 14 variables, called pillars in the TTC Report. Several changes were introduced in the 2008 TTCI in the definition of the variables as compared to the definitions of the 2007 TTCI.[2] First, the “environmental regulation” pillar was improved with help from the IUCN and the UNWTO, and for the 2008 index was re-named the “environmental sustainability” pillar to “better reflect its components and to capture the increasingly recognized importance of sustainability in the sector’s development.”[4] Second, the original pillar “natural and cultural resources” was divided into two separate subcomponents: “natural resources” and “cultural resources”, thus, allowing to differentiate those countries which do not necessarily have the same strengths or weaknesses in these two different resources. In general, the model was improved with better data and new concepts were introduced.[2] The 2009 report kept the same 14 variables.[3]

Pillars by Subindexes

Regulatory framework

Business environment and infrastructure

Human, cultural, and natural resources

Policy rules and regulations Air transport infrastructure Human resources

Environmental sustainability Ground transport infrastructure Affinity for Travel & Tourism

Safety and securityTourism infrastructure Natural resources

Health and hygiene Information and Communications Techn. infrastr.

Cultural resources

Prioritization of Travel and Tourism

Price competitiveness in T&T industry

World tourism statistics and rankings

Most visited countries by international tourist arrivals

In 2008, there were over 922 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 1.9% as compared to 2007. In 2009, international tourists’ arrivals fell to 880 million, representing a worldwide decline of 4% as compared to 2008. The region most affected was Europe with a 6% decline.

The World Tourism Organization reports the following ten countries as the most visited from 2006 to 2009 by the number of international travellers. When compared to 2006,

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Ukraine entered the top ten list, surpassing Russia, Austria and Mexico,[3] and in 2008, surpassed Germany. In 2008, the U.S. displaced Spain from the second place. Most of the top visited countries continue to be on the European continent, followed by a growing number of Asian countries.

In 2009, Malaysia made it into the top 10 most visited countries' list. Malaysia secured the ninth position, just below Turkey and Germany. In 2008, Malaysia was in 11th position. Both Turkey and Germany climbed one rank in arrivals, occupying seventh and eighth positions respectively, while France continued to lead the ranks in terms of tourist arrivals.

Rank CountryUNWTORegionalMarket

Internationaltouristarrivals(2009)

Internationaltouristarrivals(2008)

Internationaltouristarrivals(2007)

Internationaltouristarrivals(2006)

1  France Europe 74.2 million 79.2 million 80.9 million 77.9 million

2 United

StatesNorth America

54.9 million 57.9 million 56.0 million 51.0 million

3  Spain Europe 52.2 million 57.2 million 58.7 million 58.0 million

4  China Asia 50.9 million 53.0 million 54.7 million 49.9 million

5  Italy Europe 43.2 million 42.7 million 43.7 million 41.1 million

6 United

KingdomEurope 28.0 million 30.1 million 30.9 million 30.7 million

7  Turkey Europe 25.5 million 25.0 million 22.2 million 18.9 million

8  Germany Europe 24.2 million 24.9 million 24.4 million 23.6 million

9  Malaysia Asia 23.6 million 22.1 million 21.0 million 17.5 million

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10  MexicoLatin America

21.5 million 22.6 million 21.4 million 21.4 million

International tourism receipts

International tourism receipts grew to US$944 billion (€642 billion) in 2008, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 1.8% from 2007. When the export value of international passenger transport receipts is accounted for, total receipts in 2008 reached a record of US$1.1 trillion, or over US$3 billion a day.

The World Tourism Organization reports the following countries as the top ten tourism earners for the year 2009. It is noticeable that most of them are on the European continent, but the United States continues to be the top earner.

Rank CountryUNWTORegionalMarket

InternationalTourismReceipts

(2009)

InternationalTourismReceipts

(2008)

InternationalTourismReceipts

(2007)

InternationalTourismReceipts

(2006)

1 United

StatesNorth America

$94.2 billion $110.1 billion $97.1 billion $85.8 billion

2  Spain Europe $53.2 billion $61.6 billion $57.6 billion $51.1 billion

3  France Europe $48.7 billion $55.6 billion $54.3 billion $46.3 billion

4  Italy Europe $40.2 billion $45.7 billion $42.7 billion $38.1 billion

5  China Asia $39.7 billion $40.8 billion $37.2 billion $33.9 billion

6  Germany Europe $34.7 billion $40.0 billion $36.0 billion $32.8 billion

7 United

KingdomEurope $30.1 billion $36.0 billion $38.6 billion $34.6 billion

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8  Australia Oceania $25.6 billion $24.8 billion $22.3 billion $17.8 billion

9  Turkey Europe $21.3 billion $22.0 billion $18.5 billion $16.9 billion

10  Austria Europe --- $21.8 billion $18.9 billion $16.6 billion

International tourism expenditures

The World Tourism Organization reports the following countries as the top ten biggest spenders on international tourism for the year 2009. For the fifth year in a row, German tourists continue as the top spenders.

Rank CountryUNWTORegionalMarket

InternationalTourism

Expenditures(2009)

InternationalTourism

Expenditures(2008)

InternationalTourism

Expenditures(2007)

InternationalTourism

Expenditures(2006)

1  Germany Europe $80.8 billion $91.0 billion $83.1 billion $73.9 billion

2 United

StatesNorth America

$73.1 billion $79.7 billion $76.4 billion $72.1 billion

3 United

KingdomEurope $48.5 billion $68.5 billion $71.4 billion $63.1 billion

4  China Asia $43.7 billion $36.2 billion $29.8 billion $24.3 billion

5  France Europe $38.9 billion $43.1 billion $36.7 billion $31.2 billion

6  Italy Europe $27.8 billion $30.8 billion $27.3 billion $23.1 billion

7  Japan Asia $25.1 billion $27.9 billion $26.5 billion $26.9 billion

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8  CanadaNorth America

$24.3 billion $26.9 billion $24.7 billion $20.6 billion

9  Russia Europe $20.8 billion $23.8 billion $21.2 billion $18.1 billion

10  Netherlands Europe $20.7 billion $21.7 billion $19.1 billion $17.0 billion

Most visited cities

Top 10 most visited cities by estimated number of international visitors by selected year

City CountryInternational

visitors(millions)

Year/Notes

Paris  France 14.82009 (Excluding extra-muros visitors)

London  United Kingdom 14.1 2009

Singapore  Singapore 9.7 2009

Kuala Lumpur

 Malaysia 9.11 2009

Hong Kong  China 8.95 2009

New York City

 United States 8.7 2009

Bangkok  Thailand 8.45 2009

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Istanbul  Turkey 7.51 2009

Dubai United Arab

Emirates6.81 2009

Shanghai  China 6.29 2009

Tourism in China

An example of cultural site: the Terracotta Army in Xian.

An example of natural site: the Jiuzhaigou Valley.

Tourism in China has greatly expanded over the last few decades since the beginning of reform and opening. The emergence of a newly rich middle class and an easing of restrictions on movement by the Chinese authorities are both fueling this travel boom. China has become one of the world's most-watched and hottest outbound

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tourist markets. The world is on the cusp of a sustained Chinese outbound tourism boom.

China is the world's fourth largest country for inbound tourism. The number of overseas tourists was 55 million in 2007. Foreign exchange income was 41.9 billion U.S. dollars, the world's fifth largest in 2007. The number of domestic tourist visits totaled 1.61 billion, with a total income of 777.1 billion yuan.

According to the WTO, in 2020, China will become the largest tourist country and the fourth largest for overseas travel. In terms of total outbound travel spending, China is currently ranked fifth and is expected to be the fastest growing in the world from 2006 to 2015, jumping into the number two slot for total travel spending by 2015.

China's tourism revenue reached $185 billion in 2009.

Local tourism

Travel within China has become easier in recent years with the lifting of travel controls, massive investment in transportation facilities such as roads, railways and airlines, and the rapid rise in incomes. The number of domestic tourists increased from 695 million in 1998 to 878 million in 2002, boosting domestic tourism receipts from Rmb239.1 billion (US$28.9 billion) to Rmb387.8 billion (US$46.9 billion).

Inbound

Night view of Shanghai showing The Bund

China has become a major tourist destination following its reform and opening to the world in the late 1970s instigated by Deng Xiaoping. In 1978, China received about 230,000 international foreign tourists, mostly because of the severe limitations that the government placed on who was allowed to visit the country and who was not.[3] In 2006 China received 49.6 million international visitors, making it the fourth most-visited country in the world. In 2007 international tourist arrivals to China increased to 54.7 million.

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While the gap between the massive luxury hotels in the big cities in China and the more limited facilities elsewhere, hotel building continues apace. The number of tourist hotels increased from 5,782 in 1998 to 8,880 by 2002. By 2003 China had some 9,751 tourist hotels and a burgeoning hospitality industry, much of it joint ventures with foreign partners.

Outbound

Rising middle class incomes and a pent-up demand to see the rest of the world will make China one of the most significant outbound tourism markets in the coming decade. Controls on foreign travel are being gradually eased. Rising disposable incomes and constant exposure to foreign countries on television have also contributed to a surge in outward tourism. One indication of this is the increase in the number of travel agencies, from 6,222 in 1998 to 11,552 in 2002, which has accompanied a rise in the number of Chinese tourists going abroad from 3.2 million to 10.1 million in the same period. The proportion of Chinese going abroad for "private purposes" rose steadily during that time from 38.1% to 60.8%. Almost all the growth in travel agencies has so far been in Chinese-owned agencies, which increased from 4,910 to 10,203, while international travel agencies in China have remained at just over 1,300.

Chinese nationals spent more than US$15 billion on tourism abroad in 2002, and US$19.1 billion in 2004. In 2006 some 34.5 million mainland Chinese trips were taken outside of China. China has been the leading source of outbound tourists in Asia since 2003, though most Chinese tourists (71% in 2005) only go to Hong Kong and Macau.

The impact of Chinese outbound tourism is starting to be felt in Asia (17% in 2005), with far fewer going to Europe (5% in 2005) and elsewhere. In addition, Chinese tourists are among the biggest spenders when they travel overseas, making them a highly desired market.

Mainland Chinese are currently able to take organized leisure tours to over 100 countries that have "Approved Destination Status". The major omission on that list, and the one place that more Chinese want to visit than any other, was until recently, the United States. After the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2007, the first Chinese groups began arriving in the US in June 2008. By 2020 China is projected to produce 100 million outbound trips going to every corner of the globe, making it the largest producer of tourists in the world, by far.

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CitiesNotable ancient capitals

Jiming Temple in Nanjing Beijing Xi'an Nanjing Luoyang Hangzhou Zhengzhou Anyang Kaifeng

Renowned historic cities and old towns

Pingyao in Shanxi province Nakhi dongjing music ians in Lijiang Chengde Chengdu Chongqing Dali Fenghuang Guangzhou Hancheng Huai'an

Huanglongxi Jinan Jianshui Lijiang Lizhuang Luzhi Macao Nanxun Pingyao Qufu Shanghai & Zhujiajiao Shenyang

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Sunset at Sanya Bay, Hainan

The most popular tourist attraction in China is the Great Wall of China. Also popular are the Forbidden City in Beijing, which was the center of Chinese Imperial power, and the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty Emperor's mausoleum in Xi'an, a vast collection of full-size terracotta statues of Chinese Imperial soldiers and others.

Tourist resources

Tourist resources in China can be divided into three main groups: natural sites, historical and cultural sites, and folk customs.

Natural sites

The terraced rice paddies of Yuanyang County, Yunnan

China's mountains, lakes, valleys, caves and waterfalls:

Mount Tai in the east, Mount Hengshan in the south, Mount Hua in the west, Mount Hengshan in the north, and Mount Song in the center of China have been called the

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Five Sacred Mountains since antiquity. Mount Taishan, which snakes through central Shandong Province, is admired by Chinese as paramount among them. Another mountain celebrated for its beauty is Mount Huang in southern Anhui Province, known for its graceful pines, unusual rocks, cloud seas and hot springs.

Jiuzhaigou, Huangguoshu Waterfall, and Guilin are all located in southwestern China. Jiuzhaigou in northern Sichuan Province is a beautiful "fairyland valley" running over 40 km through snow-covered mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and forest. The Huangguoshu Waterfalls in Guizhou Province are a group of waterfalls, 18 above-ground and four below, which can be heard from five km away. The Lijiang River in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region winds its way through karst peaks for 82 km between Guilin and Yangshuo.

On the plateau in northern China are many spectacular lakes. The Tianchi (Heavenly Pool) in the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang Autonomous Region is 1,980 meters above sea level. This 105-m-deep lake is crystal clear, the high mountains surrounding it carpeted with green grass and colorful flowers.

Along the renowned Three Gorges of the Yangtze River are many scenic spots and historical sites; the Qutang Gorge is rugged and majestic, the Wu Gorge elegant, deep and secluded, the Xiling Gorge full of shoals and reefs and rolling water. The Lesser Three Gorges are lush with greenery, flanking water so clear you can see to the bottom. The Three Gorges Dam built here is China's biggest key hydro-power project.

Historical and cultural sites

Beauties Wearing Flowers, by Zhou Fang, 8th century

China's long history has left many cultural relics and the title of "China Top Tourist City" has gone to the first group of 54 cities. The Great Wall, a symbol of the Chinese nation, is also a prime example of historical sites that have become major tourist attractions. As the greatest defense-structure project in the history of human civilization, it dates back more than 2,000 years ago to the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States periods - huge in its scale and grandeur. There are more than ten sections of the Great Wall open to tourists, including the passes, blockhouses and beacon towers at Badaling in Beijing, Laolongtou in Hebei and Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu Province.

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Grottoes filled with precious murals and sculptures are concentrated along the ancient Silk Road in Gansu Province. The best known are the Mogao Caves, a "treasure house of oriental art", with 492 caves with murals and statues on the cliff faces. There are 45,000 sq m of murals and over 2,100 colorful statues, all of high artistry. In the south, grotto art is represented in Sichuan Province by the Leshan Giant Buddha, carved into a cliff face. Seventy-one meters high and 28 meters wide, it is the largest sitting Buddha in stone, showing the carving skill of ancient craftsmen.

The Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, the birthplace of Chinese Zen Buddhism and famous for its Shaolin Kung Fu martial arts, dates back to 495 A.D. Here can be seen the Ming period Five-Hundred-Arhats Mural and Qing period Shaolin kungfu paintings. In central China's Hubei Province, beautiful Wudang Mountain, with 72 peaks in 30 km², is a sacred site of Taoism, which preserves one of China's most complete and largest-scale ancient Taoist architecture. In western Sichuan Province, Mount Emei, dotted with ancient Buddhist temples and structures, is one of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains。

Most of China's 101 cities classified as famous historical and cultural cities are over 1,000 years old. South of the Yangtze River, Suzhou and Hangzhou, long known as "paradise on earth", are crisscrossed with rivers, lakes, bridges, fields and villages, as beautiful as paintings. Today's well-preserved ancient cities includes that of Pingyao in central Shanxi Province, but was also the site of the Neolithic era Yangshao and Longshan cultures, 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. Ancient Lijiang in Yunnan Province is not only the center of Dongba culture of the Nakhi ethnic group but also a meeting place for the cultures of Han, Tibetan and Bai ethnicities. Built in the Song Dynasty, this city has many stone bridges, stone memorial arches and dwelling houses, which provide precious materials for architectural history and can be called a "living museum of ancient dwelling houses."

Folk customs

Lugu lake in Yunnan

"March Street" celebrated by the Bai people in Dali, Yunnan Province, is associated with the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy suppressing a devil to help the Bai people. It became traditional to burn incense and offer sacrifices to commemorate her virtues

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every year and the festival has become a major annual gathering for Bai commercial, cultural and sports activities.

The Water-Sprinkling Festival of the Dai ethnic group in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, is a lively occasion taking place in the spring. People chase and pour water (a symbol of good luck and happiness) over each other, among other activities such as dragon boat racing and peacock dance.

Lugu Lake between Sichuan and Yunnan provinces has become a tourist destination following the building of a new highway giving access to this area. The matriarchal society of the 30,000 local Mosuo people is noted for its "no marriage" traditions and is called the last women's kingdom on the earth. Mosuo women, local dugout canoes and undulating singing style are considered unique to Lugu Lake.

Tourist themes

The China National Tourism Administration promotes a tourist theme every year; 1992 was "Friendly Sightseeing Year." Then came "Landscape Tour", "Tour of Cultural Relics and Historical Sites", "Folk Customs Tour", "Holiday Tour", and "Ecological Environment Tour." From 2000 to 2004, the themes were "Century Year", "Sports and Health of China", "Folk Arts of China", and "Culinary Kingdom of China", and "Catch the Lifestyle."

The themes for 2005 are "China Travel Year" and "Beijing 2008 -- Welcome to China." In order to strengthen exchange and cooperation with the international tourism industry, the China National Travel Administration is planning a series of related events, including the Shanghai-hosted "2005 International Tourism Fair of China", the Beijing-hosted 2005 annual meeting of the Federation of Travel Agencies of France, and "the 2005 China-Australia Tourism Symposium." The China International Online Travel Fair 2005 held in March was comprehensive, providing a online exchange and trading platform between tour companies themselves and with their customers.

Asian Games provide tourism windfallGUANGZHOU - With some 150,000 overseas and 500,000 domestic tourists expected

in this southern city during the Asian Games, its global image is in for a boost, along

with its coffers.

Yin Tao, director of the Institute of Industrial Economy and Enterprise Management

under the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said the city's tourism revenue is

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expected to receive $80 million from overseas tourists and 1 billion yuan ($147 million)

from domestic ones during the Games.

In preparation for the influx of visitors, the city's transport network, telecommunications

systems and tourism facilities have all been upgraded, along with improvements to the

quality of its air and water, Yin said.

Michelle Caporicci, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou, said the hotel

anticipated a steady stream of bookings, including tourists, delegations from

participating countries and members of the Asian Games committee.

"The Games will change people's perception of Guangzhou as primarily a business

destination, so we are expecting many more domestic tourists in Guangzhou," she said.

"Local corporations are taking this opportunity to invite guests to Guangzhou to

showcase the city's potential.

The Games will also attract local tourists from the Pearl River Delta and neighboring

cities, because of their proximity," she said.

CITS Guangdong Co, a major travel agent, also anticipates increased bookings for

inbound flights and trips to other provinces, said managing director Gu Xuncai.

The company has improved its facilities and services for the Games, including tour

guides who are proficient in foreign languages, Gu said.

The province's tourism industry is expected to continue to benefit after the Games,

especially due to all the improvements that have been made in the host city, he added.

Banks in Guangdong province plan to increase the number of their outlets, provide

multilingual services and cater to the disabled during the Games, said Liu Fushou,

director of the Guangdong Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Guangzhou had 118 million tourists last year, which generated 99.404 billion yuan in

tourism revenue, including $3.624 billion in foreign currency, according to the tourism

administration of Guangzhou.

In tandem with generating revenue, consumption in Guangzhou is expected to rise by

1.9 billion yuan during the Games, Yin said.

Investment for the Asian Games will add 815.24 billion yuan to the local gross domestic

product, Yin said, with direct investment for the Games creating 304,000 jobs.

Tourism in India

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Every year, more than 3 million tourists visit the Taj Mahal in Agra.

with 34000 temples of centuries old, Tamil Nadu holds the credit of Top state in attracting the maximum number of foreign tourists in India The above picture shows one of the five UNESCO Heritage sites in the state.

Tourism is the largest service industry in India, with a contribution of 6.23% to the national GDP and 8.78% of the total employment in India. India witnesses more than 5 million annual foreign tourist arrivals and 562 million domestic tourism visits. The tourism industry in India generated about US$100 billion in 2008 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate. The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the development and promotion of tourism in India and maintains the "Incredible India" campaign.

According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India will be a tourism hotspot from 2009–2018, having the highest 10-year growth potential. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 ranked tourism in India 6th in terms of price competitiveness and 39th in terms of safety and security. Despite short- and medium-term setbacks, such as shortage of hotel rooms, tourism revenues are expected to surge by 42% from 2007 to 2017.

India has a growing medical tourism sector. The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi are expected to significantly boost tourism in India.

Tourism by state

Andhra Pradesh

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Charminar in Hyderabad

Andhra Pradesh has a rich cultural heritage and a variety of tourist attractions. The state of Andhra Pradesh comprises scenic hills, forests, beaches and temples. Also known as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls, Hyderabad is today one of the most developed cities in the country and a modern hub of information technology, ITES, and biotechnology. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as a meeting point for North and South India, and also its multilingual culture, bo

Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres. Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is the richest and most visited religious center (of any faith) in the world. Srisailam, the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna, is one of twelve Jyothirlingalu in India, Amaravati's Siva temple is one of the Pancharamams, and Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha. The Ramappa temple and Thousand Pillars temple in Warangal are famous for some fine temple carvings. The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravati, Nagarjuna Konda, Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala, Nelakondapalli, Dhulikatta, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Shalihundam, Pavuralakonda, Sankaram, Phanigiri and Kolanpaka.

The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, river Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls at Ettipotala, Kuntala and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, are some of the natural attractions of the state. Visakhapatnam is home to many tourist attactions such as the INS Karasura Submarine museum (The only one of its kind in India), Yarada Beach, Araku Valley, VUDA Park, Indira Gandhi Zoological Gardens. The weather in Andhra Pradesh is mostly tropical and the best time to visit is in November through to January. The monsoon season commences in June and ends in September, so travel would not be advisable during this period.

Bihar

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Mahabodhi Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bihar is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world with history of 3000 years. The rich culture and heritage of Bihar is evident from the innumerable ancient monuments that are dotted all over this state in eastern India. This is the Place of Aryabhata, Great Ashoka, Chanakya and many more.

Attractions:

Patna - The capital of Bihar, famous for its rich history and royal architecture. Gaya - Known for Budhism,where Gautam Buddh got knowledge.Attraction of

Japaness,Chiness Barauni - Petrochemical work for national level Muzaffarpur - Famous for its education. Kesariya - World's largest Buddhist Stupa located here. Nalanda - World's oldest university remains here. Sasaram - Tomb of Sher Shah Suri, the great Emperor of Mughal age who

defeated Humayun. Sonpur - The Sonepur Cattle Fair or Sonepur Mela,it is the biggest cattle fair of

Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one month.

Bihar is one of the most sacred places of various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism & Islam. Famous Attraction includes Mahabodhi Temple, a Buddhist shrine and UNESCO World Heritage Site is also situated in Bihar, Barabar Caves the oldest rockcut caves in India, Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library the Oldest Library of India.

Delhi

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Lotus Temple

Delhi is the capital city of India. A fine blend of old and new, ancient and modern, Delhi is a melting pot of cultures, religions. Delhi has been the capital of numerous empires that ruled India, making it rich in history. The rulers left behind their trademark architectural styles. Delhi currently has many renowned historic monuments and landmarks such as the Tughlaqabad fort, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila, Lodhi Gardens, Jama Masjid, Humayun's tomb, Red Fort, and Safdarjung's Tomb. Modern monuments include Jantar Mantar, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Laxminarayan Temple, Lotus temple and Akshardham Temple.

New Delhi is famous for its British colonial architecture, wide roads, and tree-lined boulevards. Delhi is home to numerous political landmarks, national museums, Islamic shrines, Hindu temples, green parks, and trendy malls.

Goa

Goa is noted for its resorts and beaches.

Goa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. A former colony of Portugal, Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, Portuguese churches, Hindu temples, and wildlife sanctuaries. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mangueshi Temple, Dudhsagar Falls, and Shantadurga are famous attractions in Goa. Recently a Wax Museum (Wax World) has also opened in Old Goa housing a number of wax personalities of Indian history, culture and heritage.

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The Goa Carnival is a world famous event, with colorful masks and floats, drums and reverberating music, and dance performances. The celebrations run three days culminating in a carnival parade on fat Tuesday.

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir is known for its scenic landscape

Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. Jammu is noted for its scenic landscape, ancient temples, Hindu shrines, castles, gardens and forts. The Hindu holy shrines of Amarnath in kashmir attracts about .4 million hindu devotees every year . Vaishno Devi alsoattract tens of thousands of Hindu devotees every year. Jammu's historic monuments feature a unique blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture styles.

Tourism forms an integral part of the Kashmiri economy. Often dubbed "Paradise on Earth", Kashmir's mountainous landscape has attracted tourists for centuries. Notable places are Dal Lake, Srinagar Phalagam, Gulmarg, Yeusmarg and Mughal Gardens etc. Kashmir's natural landscape has made it one of the popular destinations for adventure tourism in South Asia.Marked by four distinct seasons,Ski enthusiasts can enjoy the exotic himalayan powder during winters. 7000000 tourists arrived in kashmir in the months of April,May and June alone

In recent years, Ladakh has emerged as a major hub for adventure tourism. This part of Greater Himalaya called "moon on earth" comprising of naked peaks and deep gorges was once known for the silk route to High Asia from the subcontinent. Leh is also a growing tourist spot.

Kerala

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Kerala, nicknamed as "God's own country," is famous for its houseboats.

Kerala is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. Nicknamed as one of the "10 paradises of the world" by National Geographic, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives. Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Growing at a rate of 13.31%, the tourism industry significantly contributes to the state's economy.

Kerala is known for its tropical backwaters and pristine beaches such as Kovalam.

Maharashtra

Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India, famous for its architecture, shopping, gastronomy, and Bollywood. Maharashtra accounts for second largest foreign tourists arrivals in India.[11]

Maharashtra is the second most visited state in India by foreign tourists,[11] with more than 2 million foreign tourists arrivals annually. Maharashtra boasts of a large number of popular and revered religious venues that are heavily frequented by locals as well as out-of-state visitors.

Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus are the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Maharashtra and are highly responsible for the development of Tourism in the state.

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Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India, and a great place to experience modern India. Mumbai famous for Bollywood, the world's largest film industry. In addition, Mumbai is famous for its clubs, shopping, and upscale gastronomy. The city is known for its architecture, from the ancient Elephanta Caves, to the Islamic Haji Ali Mosque, to the colonial architecture of Bombay High Court and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Maharashtra also has numerous adventure tourism destinations, including paragliding, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving in places like Kolad, Tarkarli, Koyna, Manor. Maharashtra also has several pristine national parks and reserves, some of the best ones are Tadoba with excellent accommodation and safari experiences besides little known by amazing wildlife destinations like Koyna, Nagzira (very small with incredible sightings), Melghat (disturbed with massive mining truck movement), Dajipur, Radhanagari and of course the only national park within metropolic city limits in the world - Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The Bibi Ka Maqbara at Aurangabad the Mahalakshmi temple at Kolhapur, the cities of Nashik, Trimbak famous for religious importance and the city of Pune the seat of the Maratha Empire and the fantastic Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations together contribute for the Tourism sector of Mahrashtra.

Cherrapunjee is one of the most popular tourist spots in North East of India. It lies to the south of the capital Shillong. The town is very well known and needs little publicity. A rather scenic, 50 kilometer long road, connects Cherrapunjee with Shillong.

The popular waterfalls in the state are the Elephant Falls, Shadthum Falls, Weinia falls, Bishop Falls, Nohkalikai Falls, Langshiang Falls and Sweet Falls. The hot springs at Jakrem near Mawsynram are believed to have curative and medicinal properties.

Orissa

Konark Sun Temple built by the Eastern Ganga dynasty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Orissa has been a preferred destination from ancient days for people who have an interest in spirituality, religion, culture, art and natural beauty. Ancient and medieval architecture, pristine sea beaches, the classical and ethnic dance forms and a variety of

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festivals. Orissa has kept the religion of Buddhism alive. Rock-edicts that have challenged time stand huge and over-powering by the banks of the river Daya. The torch of Buddhism is still ablaze in the sublime triangle at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, on the banks of river Birupa. Precious fragments of a glorious past come alive in the shape of stupas, rock-cut caves, rock-edicts, excavated monasteries, viharas, chaityas and sacred relics in caskets and the Rock-edicts of Ashoka. Orissa is also famous for its well-preserved Hindu Temples, especially the Konark Sun Temple and The Leaning Temple of Huma.[12]

Orissa is the home for various tribal communities who have contributed uniquely to the multicultural and multilingual character of the state. Their handicrafts, different dance forms, jungle products and their unique life style blended with their healing practices have got world wide attention. The Sitalsasthi Carnival is a must see for everyone who wants to see a glimpse of the art and culture of Odisha at one place.

Rajasthan

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Rajasthan, literally meaning "Land of the Kings", is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Northern India. The vast sand dunes of the Thar Desert attract millions of tourists from around the globe every year.

Attractions:

Jaipur - The capital of Rajasthan, famous for its rich history and royal architecture and motidungari lord ganesha temple.

Jodhpur - Fortress-city at the edge of the Thar Desert, famous for its blue homes and architecture.

Udaipur - Known as the "Venice" of India. Jaisalmer - Famous for its golden fortress. Barmer - Barmer and surrounding areas offer perfect picture of typical Rajasthani

villages. Bikaner - Famous for its medieval history as a trade route outpost. Mount Abu - Is the highest peak in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan. Pushkar - It has the first and one of the very Brahma temples in the world.

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Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary - A UNESCO world heritage site Nathdwara - This town near Udaipur hosts the famous temple of Shrinathji. Ranthambore - Situated near Sawai Madhopur, this town has one of the largest

and most famous national parks in India.

Tamil Nadu

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a scenic view of hills through out its 41 km journey between Mettupalayam and Ooty (7500 FT above ground level).

Tamil Nadu is the top state in attracting the maximum number of foreign tourists in India. Tamil Nadu. Marina Beach, Carnatic music, Bharata Natyam dance and country's largest Shopping locality.This city is also famous for Medical tourism and houses Asia's largest hospital. Archaeological sites with civilisation dating back to 3800 years are found in Tamil Nadu.

With more than 34000 temples this state also holds the credit of having maximum number of UNESCO heritage sites (5) in India which includes Great Living Chola Temples and Mahabalipuram.Country's largest temple srirangam and Pichavaram the world's Second largest Mangrove forest are located in this state.

Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India provides sceneic view of sunset and sunshine over the Indian ocean.Hill stations like Yercaud, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Valparai, Yelagiri are widely visited. Velankanni Church and Nagoor Dharga are visited by people of all religion.Water Falls and Wildlife sanctuaries are located across the state.

Uttarakhand

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The Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Uttarakhand, the 27th state of the Republic of India, is called "the abode of the Gods". It contains glaciers, snow-clad mountains, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests, and many shrines and places of pilgrimage. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the Himalayas. Haridwar which means Gateway to God is the only place on the plains.

It holds the watershed for Gangetic River System spanning 300 km from Satluj in the west to Kali river in the east. Nanda Devi (25640 Ft) is the second highest peak in India after Kanchenjunga (28160 Ft). Dunagiri, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, Panchachuli, Trisul are other peaks above 23000 Ft. It is considered the abode of Devtas, Yakashyas, Kinners, Fairies and Sages.[citation needed] It boasts of some old hill-stations developed during British era like Mussoorie, Almora and Nainital.

GlaciersPindari Glacier, Milam Glacier,

Gangotri Glacier, Bunder Punch

Glacier, Khatling Glacier, Doonagiri Glacier, Dokrani Glacier, Kaphini Glacier, Ralam

Glacier

Wildlife ReservesCorbett National

Park, Rajaji National Park, Asan

Conservation Reserve, Nanda Devi

National Park, Govind Wildlife

Sanctuary, Askot Musk Deer

Sanctuary (Askot), Valley of Flowers

Adventure SportsSkiing at Mundali,

Auli, Dayara Bagyal and Munsiyari.

Paragliding at Yelagiri. Trekking

at Mussoorie, Uttarkashi, Joshimath, Munsiyari,

Chaukori, Pauri, Almora, Nainital

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West Bengal

Victoria Memorial in Kolkata

Kolkata, one of the many cities in the state of West Bengal has been nicknamed the City of Palaces. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions built all over the city. Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British and, to a much lesser extent, the Portuguese and French. The buildings were designed and inspired by the tastes of the English gentleman around and the aspiring Bengali Babu (literally, a nouveau riche Bengali who aspired to cultivation of English etiquette, manners and custom, as such practices were favourable to monetary gains from the British). Today, many of these structures are in various stages of decay. Some of the major buildings of this period are well maintained and several buildings have been declared as heritage structures.

From historical point of view, the story of West Bengal begins from Gour and Pandua situated close to the present district town of Malda. The twin medieval cities had been sacked at least once by changing powers in the 15th century. However, ruins from the period still remain, and several architectural specimens still retain the glory and shin of those times. The Hindu architecture of Bishnupur in terracotta and laterite sandstone are renowned world over. Towards the British colonial period came the architecture of Murshidabad and Coochbehar.

Notable site of West BengalCooch Behar · Cooch Behar ·

Darjeeling · Kalimpong · Kurseong · Dooars · Digha · Bishnupur · Malda ·

Mukutmanipur · Ayodhya Hills · Murshidabad · Kolkata.

Places of WorshipDakshineswar Kali Temple · Kalighat Temple · Birla temple · Belur Math · Bhoothnath · Tipu Sultan Mosque ·

Nakhoda Mosque · St. Paul's Cathedral · St. John's Church · Parsi Fire Temples · Japanese Buddhist Temple · Pareshnath

Jain Temple

Historic monuments

The Taj Mahal is one of India's best-known sites and one of the best architectural achievements in India. Located in Agra, it was built between 1631 and 1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife, Arjumand Banu, more popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal serves as her tomb.

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The Mahabodhi Temple A 2000 year old temple dedicated to Gautam Buddha in Bodh Gaya. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Nalanda Vishvavidyalaya, located in the Indian State of Bihar, was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 C.E to 1197 C.E partly under the Pala Empire.[13][14] It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history.".[14] According to historical studies the University of Nalanda was established 450 C.E under the patronage of the Gupta emperors, notably Kumaragupta.[13]

The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil nadu built by the Cholas, this temple is one of India's most prized architectural sites.

The Airavateswara temple located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam, Tamil nadu.

The Shore Temple, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram, Tamil nadu have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Golden Temple is one of the most respected temples in India and the most sacred place for Sikhs. The Golden Temple is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India.

The Bahá'í temple in Delhi, was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian Subcontinent. It has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. (It is also known as the Lotus Temple.)

The Hawa Mahal in Jaipur also known as Palace of Winds is major attraction in Jaipur.

The Taj Mahal Palace is an icon of Mumbai.

The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata

Nature TourismIndia has geographical diversity, which resulted in varieties of nature tourism.

Water falls in Western Ghats including Jog falls (highest in India). Western Ghats Hill Stations Wildlife reserves

Wildlife in India

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Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarbans. The world's largest mangrove forest as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

India is home to several well known large mammals including the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Leopard and Indian Rhinoceros, often engrained culturally and religiously often being associated with deities. Other well known large Indian mammals include ungulates such as the domestic Asian Water buffalo, wild Asian Water buffalo, Nilgai, Gaur and several species of deer and antelope. Some members of the dog family such as the Indian Wolf, Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal and the Dhole or Wild Dogs are also widely distributed. It is also home to the Striped Hyaena, Macaques, Langurs and Mongoose species. India also has a large variety of protected wildlife. The country's protected forest consists of 75 National parks of India and 421 Sanctuaries, of which 19 fall under the purview of Project Tiger. Its climatic and geographic diversity makes it the home of over 350 mammals and 1200 bird species, many of which are unique to the subcontinent.

Some well known national wildlife sanctuaries include Bharatpur, Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore, Manas and Sariska. The world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans is located in southern West Bengal. The Kaziranga National Park,Manas National Park, Sundarbans and Keoladeo National Park is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hill stations

A summer view of Khajjiar, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh.

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A panaromic view of Ooty, one of the finest hill-stations in IndiaMain article: List of Indian hill stations

Several hill stations served as summer capitals of Indian provinces, princely states, or, in the case of Shimla, of British India itself. Since Indian Independence, the role of these hill stations as summer capitals has largely ended, but many hill stations remain popular summer resorts. Most famous hill stations are:

Mount Abu , Rajasthan Pachmarhi , Madhya Pradesh - It is also known as The Queen of Satpura. Araku , Andhra Pradesh Gulmarg , Srinagar and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir Darjeeling in West Bengal Munnar in Kerala Ooty , Yercaud and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu Shillong in Meghalaya Shimla , Kullu in Himachal Pradesh Nainital in Uttarakhand Gangtok in Sikkim Mussoorie in Uttarakhand Manali in Himachal Pradesh Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra Haflong in Assam

In addition to the bustling hill stations and summer capitals of yore, there are several serene and peaceful nature retreats and places of interest to visit for a nature lover. These range from the stunning moonscapes of Leh and Ladhak, to small, exclusive nature retreats such as Dunagiri, Binsar, Mukteshwar in the Himalayas, to rolling vistas of Western Ghats to numerous private retreats in the rolling hills of Kerala.

Beaches

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Elephants and camels rides are common on Indian beaches. Shown here is Havelock Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

India offers a wide range of tropical beaches with silver/golden sand to coral beaches of Lakshadweep. States like Kerala and Goa have exploited the potential of beaches to the fullest. However, there are a lot many unexploited beaches in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These states have very high potential to be develop them as future destinations for prospective tourists. Some of the famous tourist beaches are:

Beaches of Vizag, Andhra Pradesh Beaches of Puri, Orissa Beaches of Digha, West Bengal Beaches of Goa Kovalam Beach , Kerala Marina Beach , Chennai City Beach, Puducherry Beaches of Mahabalipuram Beaches in Mumbai Beaches of Diu Beaches of Midnapore, West Bengal Beaches of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Beaches of Lakshadweep Islands

Adventure Tourism

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Skiing in Manali, Himachal Pradesh River rafting and kayaking in Himalayas Mountain climbing in Himalayas Rock climbing in Madhya Pradesh Skiing in Gulmarg or Auli Boat racing in Bhopal Paragliding in Maharashtra

Where Culture Echoes,Traditions Speak, Beauty Enthralls and Diversity DelightsThis Is India

WTTC has identified India as one of the fastest growing countries in terms of tourism demand.

Demand growth- estimates put it in excess of 250 million tourist per annum – While China and India used to attract the same number of foreign tourists way

back in 1978, today while more than 27 million international tourists visit the former annually, India manages only around one-twelfth of the above.

Tourists from US continue to remain the highest spenders South Asia accounted for 26.5% of India’s inbound tourists. India’s share in world tourism receipts has been 0.66% Tourism receipts in India in 2003stood at US $ 3.04 billion. 21.1% tourists fall in the age category of 35-44 years, 20.1%25-34 years. Estimated average length of stay of foreign tourists in India is 31.2 days. . The domestic tourism has witnessed a sustained boom. 234 million The tourism and travel economy contributes 4.8 per cent of GDP and

23,839,800 jobs Personal travel-7.9% Business travel- 0.7 % Government’s expenditure on the sector -3.8%. Capital investments-6.8% Kerala leads India’s Tourism growth India promotes cruise tourism

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Government initiatives The government has waived the visa free for tourists coming from China and

SAARC countries Indian citizens already enjoy the privilege of non-requirement of visa to come to

Nepal Government of India has decided to set up two Bharat Darshan Parks at

Bangalore and New Delhi. The initial duration of the India Tourism Initiative is 5 years, now reviewed for

progress on an annual basis . Government has extended infrastructure status to tourism, thus opening the

doors to cheap, long-term funds to help finance tourism infrastructure The divestment of government’s stake in government run hotels is another step

in the right direction The ‘Incredible India’ campaign is a step in this direction.“ The Government of India is open to 100 per cent foreign direct investment

through the automatic route. Income tax exemptions and certain subsidies if the hotels or convention centres

are set up in areas other than the metropolitan cities. A drastic reduction in tariff on import of capital goods, and concessional finance

at the rate of 1 to 5% per annum 21 Government-run Hotel Management and Catering Technology Institutes and

14 Food Craft Institutes were also established for imparting specialised training in hoteliering and catering.

Tourism Conservation, Preservation and Trade Act Department of Tourism has taken up three major infrastructure projects under

Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of NABARD To boost tourism include grant of export house status to the tourism sector Incentives for promoting private investment in the form of Income Tax

exemptions, interest subsidy and reduced import duty. Entails automatic approval of direct investment up to 51 per cent of foreign equity

and allowing 100 per cent non-resident Indian investment The present network of ITDC comprises 26 Ashok Group Hotels, 6 Joint Venture

Hotels, 5 Restaurants, 11 Ashok Travel and Transport units, 29 Duty Free Shops at 6 Airports and a Down-Town Duty Free Shop in Delhi

Govt. of India Tourist Offices in 18 destinations overseas have been promoting India tourism product

Government has acted as facilitator and catalyst in encouraging private sector investment in development of tourism infrastructure

Using of Television and Internet media for marketing Government of India has sanctioned projects worth of Rs. 15.00 crores during

the year for infrastructure development and promotion. The existing Export Promotion of Capital Goods Scheme (EPCG) was extended

to tourism and related services:

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The simplification and rationalisation of taxes in all sectors of the industry. The reduction of customer taxation.

The reduction of bureaucratic immigration procedures for foreign visitors, including smoother border controls.

2010 Commonwealth Games Expected as Boom to India TourismMarch 26, 2010 rakadewa 1 comment

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in the month of October in New Delhi, the Capital City of India. New Delhi is one the largest cities in the world. Delhi has hosted Asian Games in 1951 and 1982. It is expected that this event will bring more boom to India tourism. It is expected that extra lakhs of tourists will visit India during this event. So this event will be surly boom to tourism industry in India. According to recent studies along with tourism; hospitality, aviation and hotel industries also will be benefited immensely during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.

It is expected that larges gathering of tourists from each corner of the world will plan their holidays in India very close to the event of 2010 Commonwealth Games. It will provide tourists dual enjoy – amazing tourism as well watching different sport activities. Government of India is working rapidly to prepare perfect infrastructure to host 2010 Commonwealth Games. Hotels industries, aviation industries, apartment builders are also working to provide delightful experience of India visit during the period of Common Wealth Games 2010. Delhi is and its suburban are going to set world class facilities to provide tourists coming from all over the world during the period of common wealth event in 2010.

New Delhi is already a well-planned modern city with several international features. However to get ready to huge gathering of international tourists coming for India tour during the period of common wealth games in 2010, Indian government has taken several steps to make Delhi city perfect for the event. To make transportation system smooth running, government has launches several new AC buses. Government is extending its metro train networks in Delhi NCR. Stadiums are being prepared and improved to cater perfectly sports activities of 2010 Commonwealth Games. Airports of major cities of India like Delhi, Nagpur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Cochin, etc are going to be modernized for the preparation of event of Commonwealth Games of 2010.

Experts from tourism, hospitality and aviations industries are expecting that the event will certainly make a dramatic change and boom in tourism of India . They are expecting event will increase tourism in nearby famous places like Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Fatehpur Sikri, Bharatpur, Ranthambhore, etc. Delhi tourism is also ready to give delightful experience of travel and tourism in India.

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Tour operators and travel agencies are planning and preparing tour packages for India travel during the event of Common Wealth Games of 2010. They are especially focusing on Agra – famous for world heritage Taj Mahal, the star attractions of India, Jaipur – the Pink City of India, Ranthambhore – the land of tigers, and Corbett National Park. The beautiful hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Mussoorie, etc are also going witness large gathering of international tourists during the event of 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.

Games of Commonwealth 2010 are not going to benefit tourism of India, but they are also going to create several jobs among local people. Private sectors like hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, airports, etc are going to require extra staff to handle large flux of tourists. Thus is clear that the much-hyped 2010 Commonwealth Games are going to set tremendous boom in tourism in India.

What is Atithi Devo Bhavah?

A pioneer initiative by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India that will help tap into the full potential of tourism in India. Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has introduced “Atithi Devo Bhavah Program”- A nation wide campaign that aims at sensitising key stakeholders towards tourists, through a process of training and orientation. The endeavour is to boost tourism in India, which in turn would act as a catalyst for India’s economic growth. To launch a national level initiative that works at many levels to address all the above issues.

Atithi Devo Bhava aims at creating awareness about the effects of tourism and sensitizing people about preservation of our rich heritage & culture, cleanliness and warm hospitality. It also re-instills a sense of responsibility towards tourists and re-enforces the confidence of foreign tourist towards India as a preferred holiday destination.

The entire concept is designed to complement the ‘Incredible India’ Campaign. Why Atithi Devo Bhavah?

Last year we had 3.3 million visitors, but when you consider that Singapore gets 7 million a year. Thailand 9.6 million a year. Malaysia 11.5 million.

There is no reason why we can’t aim to increase our numbers by 100%. And that too would be just a beginning. However to do this we need to change our attitude towards those who visit us. Often tourists are Mistreated, Cheated and rudely dealt with.

It’s simple logic, if someone in a house is rude to you, as a guest, you don’t encourage your friends and relations to go there.

This is perhaps the reason why in spite of an incredible wealth of Tourist spots, Cultural

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Attractions, Natural Wonders and Destinations for the soul, India still isn’t amongst the top 15 tourist destinations Of the world. The time has definitely come to get together to change this.

To change our attitude.

We’ve lost touch with the hospitality we were famous for. Now it’s a time that we make an effort to make it a part of us again.

Inspiration behind Atithi Devo Bhavah ?

Respect has always been an integral part of the Indian soul. From time immemorial we have always respected - Our teachers, our elders, our parents And our guests

Perhaps this is why a great Indian Emperor once observed'In Hindustan our manner is very respectful and our hearts are always open'

In many ways, at that time India was the ultimate destination for the enlightened travelers. Now, thousands of years later, we can bring that golden age back again.

This inspired us to go back to those years, when Indian hospitality set the standard for the world

And we found the keystone of what we want to do

Or guest is blessed.Our visitor is God.That how we arrive at our mission called

'Atithi Devo Bhavah'

The seven point Atithi Devo Bhavah Program

Atithi Devo Bhavah is a 7 point program of hospitality and training

Samvedan Sheelta or Sesitisation-Here we will sensitise the various sections of the tourism industry about how each of them to contribute for the growth of the tourism industry and how they will benefit from it.

Prashikshan or Training and Induction -This involves explaining to them the needs and expectation of the tourist, how they should respond and behave in order to satisfy them needs and meet those expectations.

Prerna or Motivation -

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This is motivation to participate in this program through various measures e.g. awards for the best worker in the segment. Because when you are enthused you can do wonders.

Pramani Karan or Certification -Certification to ensure standards shall be done at an appropriate stage in the training program

Pratipushti or Feedback -Feedback shall be obtained from tourists about the Service they have received and the experience they had, in order to improve the training program on a continuous basis

Samanya Bodh or General Awareness -The mass media communication campaign will be undertaken to create general awareness among the public about the necessity and the benefits of the Atithi Devo Bhavah programme.

Swamitwa or Ownership-The Atithi Devo Bhavah programme is a movement we will urge all segments of the Indian society to adopt, and look upon as their own.

Tourism Service Providers Associations

Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India

Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India

   Hotel Association of India Adventure Tour Operators Association

of India   Indian Association of Tour Operators India Convention Promotion Bureau   Travel Agents Association of India All India Resort Development

Association   Indian Tourist Transporters Association

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