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Indeed, I think that you have hit on a question that is quite topical. The growth and emergence of tourism in India is something that is growing in fairly strong leaps and bounds. The facts might vary from source to source, but the overall upwards trajectory is fairly undeniable. In the last half a decade, the growth in tourism in India has emerged due to some significant factors. The national economy has become much more liberalized and much less centrally governed. The convergence of this fact along with the massive proliferation of the information technology sector has helped to generate much more income and interest in India. As more "Western" businesses outsource to India and take advantage of economic competitiveness with location of their centers in India, significant foreign capital has been invested with equally significant domestic income being generated, with a growth of personal disposable income of over 10%. These factors along with a strong growth of the middle class has helped to put India on the map for tourism. Tourist arrivals are expected to grow over 20% through 2010. This growth is going to continue and be fostered as the tourist service industry is one of massive employment, at last count giving jobs to about 20 million Indians. Much of the interest in India has developed from the business end, but also with the rediscovery of the natural beauty of the nation as well as the spiritual element intrinsic to any understanding of India. Additionally, spots such as Kerala have been dubbed as centers for the spa treatment.
There is much in way of nationalism tied into the growth of tourism, as well: "The tourism industry of India is based on certain core nationalistic ideals and standards which are: Swaagat or welcome, Sahyog or cooperation, Soochanaa or information, Sanrachanaa or infrastructure, Suvidha or facilitation, Safaai or cleanliness and Surakshaa or security. " This has been confirmed in recent advertising. Bollywood actors are filming public service announcements encouraging the Indian population to be more welcoming and protecting of foreign tourists. In a mock situation that might actually be all too real, a recent advertisement shows a couple of tourists being hassled and conned by a few streetwise Indians. Suddenly, a massive deux et machina arrives in the form of Bollywood actor, Aamir Kahn, who repudiates the hoodlums from harassing the tourists and then encourages the crowd of people in a very grassroots manner to take ownership of the problem and stop the cheating and harassment of foreign tourists. He concludes it with suggesting that it is part of the Indian nature to treat guests with utter humility and hospitality and ensure that their foreign dollars continue to find their way into the economy. This PSA is a great convergence of both traditional and economic rationales to the increase of tourism in India.
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