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Post at: Aug 18 2021

Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Programme

Recent Context

On the occasion of World Environment Day (5th June), Indian. Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel Inaugurated upgraded website of Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel management (IITTM) Gwalior in 108 National & International languages and appreciated (Incredible India Tourism Certification Programme) IITFC.


  • Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme is a digital initiative of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for the citizens of India to become a part of the booming tourism industry.
  • In this online programme one can learn about tourism at their own time, space, path and pace and become a certified tourist facilitator.
  • The programme will support tourism industry, generate employment and provide better service delivery to tourists.
  • It has been developed by M/s Wipro limited and the content is supported by the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management.
  • The programme has been made available online with effect from January 1, 2020.
  • It is available for those seeking tourist guide as profession.

Who are Tourist Facilitators and Guides?

The tourist facilitators and guides are essentially interpreters of a place/event/experience tasked with making tourist spots appealing, explaining the history, myths, legends and culture associated with destinations.

Some Facts of Indian Tourism

  • The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during 2020 increased to 24.62 milion as compared to 10.93 million in 2019. The growth rate in FTAs during 2020 over 2019 was 3.5%.
  • The share of India in international tourist arrivals in 2019 was 1.23% and ranks at 23rd position.
  • The top 5 source markets for FTAs in India in 2019 were –

Bangladesh > United States > United Kingdom > Australia > Canada.

  • The foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism in 2019 were US$ 30.06 billion registering a growth of 5.1% over 2018.
  • In FY20, Indian tourism sector accounted for 39 milion jobs (that is 8% of total employment in the country)
  • During 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was 6.8% of the total economy due to which India ranked 10th among 185 countries, according to World Travel and Tourism Council.
  • The top 3 states accounting for foreign tourist visits in 2019 were –

Tamil Nadu > Maharashtra > Uttar Pradesh.

  • The top 3 states accounting for domestic tourist visits in 2019 were –

Uttar Pradesh > Tamil Nadu > Andhra Pradesh.

  • India ranked 34th on the World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019 (released by World Economic Forum)

Schemes/ Initiatives for Promoting Tourism

  • E-TOURIST VISA facility for 171 countries (as of now)
  • E-TICEKTING for 116 monuments and 32 museums.
  • INCREDIBLE INDIA 2.0 (launched in Sept, 2017)
  • Focus on digital and social media and the promotion of Niche Tourism products, including yoga, wellness, luxury, cuisine, wildlife, etc.


  • To make monument visitor friendly.
  • Upgrade/provide washrooms, drinking water signages, cafeteria, and wi-fi facility.
  • Provide interpretation and audio-video centres.
  • Streamline waste water, garbage disposal and rainwater harvesting.
  • To make monuments accessible to differently-abled.
  • To implement Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

SWADESH DARSHAN (launched in 2015)

  • For integrated development of theme based tourist circuits like-Ramayana Circuit Buddihst Circuit, Sufi circuit and others.

PRASHAD (stands for National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive).

  • To improve amenities of important pilgrimage and heritage destinations and to beautify and develop them.
  • It was launched in January 2015.
  • Under Prasad Scheme, 57 sites have been identified at present in 29 States/UTs for development.

ICONIC TOURIST SITES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT Ministry of Tourism has identified 19 iconic sites in the country for development and proposes to carry out development with various ministries state governments, urban local bodies, local community and industry players/private sector.

HRIDAY (National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana)

  • Launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2015.
  • Aims to preserve and revitalise soul of the heritage city to reflect city’s unique character by encouraging aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative & secured environment.


  • To encourage domestic tourism, tourist facilities and infrastructure.

Future of Indian Tourism Sector

  • India is a one of the biggest market in the world for travel and tourism. It offers a diverse portfolio of niche tourism products – cruises, adventure medical wellness, sports, MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), eco-tourism, film, rural and spiritual (religious) tourism.
  • International tourist arrivals in India are expected to reach 30.5 billion by 2028 and generate revenue over US$ 59 billion.
  • By 2029, tourism sector is expected to account for about 53 million jobs.
  • The Government of India and States/UTs must continue to harness the potential of the tourism industry by facilitating tourists through their policies and programmes, both for the foreign and domestic tourists.

@  Abhay Pandey

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