Tourism in North India – A Closer Look

Charting the potential and growth of the North Indian region.

January 12, 2022
  • Roopa George
  • Keerthana Ravi
  • Gautam Tyagi
  • Adhiraj Guha

Indian tourism is synonymous with warm hospitality, diversity of cultures, great architecture, heritage, yoga, Ayurveda and variety of cuisines. In 2019, the tourism industry contributed 6.9% of India’s GDP and 8% of its total employment as per WTTC. Out of 140 countries, India ranked 8th on cultural resources and business travel and 13th on price competitiveness. However, the country ranks 34th overall, with a need to enhance its enabling environment (98th) rank, tourist service infrastructure (109th) and environmental sustainability (128th) rank. International arrivals have also remained comparatively low, at around 9 to 10 million. Nevertheless, the tourism sector remained instrumental in generating foreign exchange, creating employment opportunities, boosted infrastructure development, and remained at the centerstage of overall regional and economic development.

Since 2020, the tourism industry is facing one of its worst crises in history with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While domestic statistics during the pandemic period have not yet been released, Foreign Tourist Arrivals saw a 75% decline in 2020. However, India’s massive domestic demand base helped sustain the tourism sector with a rise in special interest tourism such as spiritual tourism, adventure tourism, snow tourism etc. 

In this paper, we focus on the Northern Indian region of the country- among the largest & most populous regions comprising ten states and union territories including Delhi, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Ladakh. North India has a rich diversity of mountains, snow, deserts, folk music, pilgrimage towns, architecture, and a rich cultural heritage. With increased demand for off-beat and unconventional tourism products, numerous new destinations have emerged. To nurture such destinations and for further growth in tourism, investment will be required in tourism infrastructure, upskilling of people and marketing and promotion on a large scale. 

This JLL-CLL report, provides a look into the region’s tourism potential, key tourism related policy measures as well as infrastructure, marketing, and other needs across the region. 

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