Tourism Policy

Punjab Tourism Policy

GP News
16 November 2019 - 05:15 PM
Tourism Policy



"Today, after years of sustained and consistent growth, tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries and resultant socio-economic benefits for the local people. Modern day tourism is characterized by inclusive and sustainable economic growth; social inclusiveness, employment generation and poverty alleviation; resource efficiency, environmental preservation and climate change; cultural values, diversity and heritage; and mutual understanding, peace and security".










The Global Tourism Scenario

1. Over the years, tourism has seen? rapid diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors the world over. Tourism accounts for 10 per cent of global GDP, 7 per cent of total world exports and 30 per cent of world services exports. International tourist arrivals have recorded an average 4 per cent or more annual growth since 2009, and for the first time, reached the one billion mark in 2012. One in eleven jobs globally comes from tourism, and therefore, modern tourism is closely associated with employment and income generation, and development, and has assumed the role of a key driver for socio-economic? progress of developing countries.

2. In  2016,  international  tourism  recorded  1235  million  international/cross  border

movements, achieving a growth of 3.90 per cent over 2015. During the same year, the total tourist expenditure touched US $ 1220 billion, recording a growth of 2.0 per cent over 2015.

The Regional Tourism Scenario

3. Asia and the Pacific region was one of the fastest growing regions in the world. The region recorded 308 million international tourists in 2016, achieving a growth of 8.6 per cent over 2015. The total tourist expenditure during the same year was US$ 366.70 billion, recording a growth of 4.8 per cent over 2015.

The National Tourism Scenario

4. Tourism in India too has seen a consistent growth over the past decade. International tourism to India grew from 2.54 million in 2005 to 8.80 million in 2016, showing an increase of almost 220 percent. Tourism also continues to play an important role in country’s foreign exchange earnings. In 2016, foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism were US $ 22.92 billion, recording a growth of 8.8 per cent over 2015.

5. The domestic tourism scene in India, likewise, has been very encouraging. While domestic tourist visits in 2001 were 237 million, the number grew to 1631.55 million in 2016, showing an increase of almost 505 per cent over a period of 15 years. Domestic tourist movements in 2016 recorded a growth of 12.7 per cent over 2015 which was 1431.97 million.

Tourism in Punjab

6. With its rich and varied cultural, and historical and religious heritage, natural and scenic beauty, human-made attractions, a wealth of folklore, fairs, festivals, cuisine, arts and crafts, and above all, a very warm and hospitable people, Punjab has all the elements which a destination can ever aspire for. The State, both the granary and shield of India, enjoys a high

per capita income and living standards. The State has made huge investments in the tourism and culture sector in recent years which was possible due to financial resources devoted by the State Government out of its own budget as well as the assistance provided by the Asian Development Bank through the IDIPT project.

7. Some of the recent initiatives of the State government have started yielding good results. During 2016, there were a total of 6,59,736 international tourists who visited the State as compared to 2,42,579 in 2015 while the number of domestic tourists was 3,87,03,325 in 2016 as against 2,57,96,379 in 2015. This made Punjab 13 in rank in domestic arrivals and 10 in foreign tourist arrivals in the country.

8. Punjab has a glorious history and it is famous as the land of the great Sikh Gurus. It has a world-class heritage of religious shrines, forts and palaces, ancient and historical monuments, wetlands and areas of natural beauty. It is also famous for its handicrafts, woodcrafts and intricately designed rich traditional patterns, motifs and needlework products. The city of Ludhiana has emerged as a great production center for woolen garments and bicycles. Due to its rich historical legacies, forts, religious shrines, wetlands, arts and handicrafts, the State offers a wide variety of savors to all kinds of visitors.

9. The Government recognizes and appreciates the potential of tourism in the State as the

game changer. This updated policy document builds on the earlier Punjab Tourism Policy 2003 and embodies the Government’s vision of tourism as an engine of inclusive growth through sustainable and responsible tourism. The government is well conversant of the UNWTO’s ‘Global Code of Ethics for Tourism’ and its underlying ten principles, which broadly cover the economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions of travel and tourism, viz.

• tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies;

• tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfillment;

• tourism, a factor of sustainable development;

• tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and contributor to its enhancement;

• tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities;

• obligations of stakeholders in tourism development;

• right to tourism;

• liberty of tourist movements;

• rights of the workers and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry; and

• implementation of the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

10. A conscious and concerted effort has been made by the Government of Punjab to incorporate these codal principles in this policy.


Definition and Purpose of a Government Tourism Policy

11. A short definition of public policy is: “a course or principle of action adopted and pursued by a government to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes1”. This definition could be broadened as: “a purposive and consistent course of action produced as a response to a perceived problem of a constituency, formulated by a specific political process, and adopted, implemented, and enforced by public agency(ies).” The implications of this definition include the following:

- Public policy is decided by specific organs of government through established procedures.

- “Purposive and consistent course of action" suggests goals and the absence of logical contradictions.

- The phrase "produced as a response to a perceived problem of a constituency" implies that government is responsive to its citizens and voters.

- The policy should result in actions that must be administered, implemented and put into practice in a manner consistent with the stated intentions.

- The action that might bring about a public policy must adopt a definite directional path and it needs to be identified which organization(s) has jurisdiction and might feasibly respond.

- Usually, a policy statement is followed by formal adoption, appropriate legislation, executive order, or administrative rule-making, all of which becomes legally binding.

12. Essentially tourism destination strategy provides a “game plan” or decision-making

guide for ensuring that the policy is implemented optimally. It is a general, undetailed plan of action, encompassing a long period of time, to achieve the policy goals2. As there is always an element of uncertainty about the future, strategy is more about a set of options ("strategic considerations") than a fixed plan. Two elements underpin the rationale for strategy, namely:

• It guides considerations in allocating finances and manpower for implementing the policy because the available resources are seldom adequate; and

• It is all about gaining (or being prepared to gain) a position of advantage over competing destinations or best-exploiting emerging possibilities.

13. Tactics is the tool to implement strategy, and is subordinated to the main goal of strategy. Tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution.

• The policy is typically contained in a formal policy document which will be adopted, and will normally be followed by legislation that will enable and ensure adherence.

• The strategy is generally contained in one or more strategic plans, formulated by the institutions that are mandated to ensure implementation of the policy.

• The tactics are usually contained in the annual action plans of the various parties and partner organizations involved in implementing the strategy.

                                        Strategy             Tactics
Five-year Tourism Policy Three-year Tourism Growth Annual Organizational
                                                  Action Plan(s)
Document                           Plan
                            Enabling Legislation and Regulations

14. The policy vision and goal(s) aim at attracting high-value tourism through responsible

and sustainable development of sensitive tourism resources, will constitute the core of the State’s tourism policy. The policy includes key principles that underpin the vision (e.g. local communities’ involvement, concentration on small and medium-sized business development, an emphasis on local job and income creation, special consideration for women and youth, environmental preservation and conservation, etc.), and set long-term targets for tourism growth and establish the positioning upon which Punjab as a destination will differentiate itself from other competing tourism destinations. The policy provides a range of statements to voice the Government’s intent regarding sustainable development, cultural preservation, development of arts, community/rural-based tourism advancement, small business stimulation, human resource development, training for enterprises, attracting and hosting tourism markets and segments within these markets, etc. It clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies involved in tourism and develop an institutional framework for implementing and advancing the policy.

15. Flowing from the policy, the strategic plan (strategy), to be ed at a later stage, will provide specific, actionable guidelines for achieving the policy goals and statements over the next three to five years. This would typically include measurable growth targets, a brand identity for communicating the market positioning, a target market strategy (e.g. touring segments, specific cultural and rural tourism nic