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Domestic Tourism - Bangalore and Karnataka

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Domestic tourism is a powerful economic activity. It holds the potential to bridge the urban-rural divide in our state. We live in a very beautiful state, with range of tourism options - leisure, pilgrimage, nature, history or health/medical. Karnataka has a tourism ministry, but its performance and focus on domestic tourism is largely unchecked and not monitored. There don't seem to be many state-level small-town and environment friendly yet convenient and well thought out policies in the play.

How important could domestic tourism be in bridging the Bangalore-Karnataka or larger urban-rural divide? I can't find good numbers at Karnataka level, but we can pick some from NSSO's recent report on Domestic tourism, survey data is from 2008-2009. Assuming the average numbers hold good for Karnataka:

  • An average urban household makes 3.65 overnight trips per year. 71% of the time, the main purpose is "social visits"
  • So roughly, urban households makes 1.05 overnight trips per year
  • Proportion of other purposes are like this: 12% pilgrimage, 5% leisure/recreation, 3.5% health/medical

Since the avg will be across multiple types of cities, let us raise these for Bangalore. So as households, all of us added, we might be

  • Making 5 overnight trips per year (5 x average)
  • 60% (3 of 5) for non social purpose (about 2 x average)

How weak are these numbers? on an avg, only 3 times an year, we head out of our cities to see our state (for simplicity, let us assume overnight trip is in-state). Now, to do some more numbers

  • If expenditure per trip is assumed to be about Rs 10000 on average (NSSO report says avg spend per overnight trip ranges from Rs 3K - 7K depending on purpose, take higher number for Bangalore)
  • Assuming 15 lakh households in Bangalore Metro region, 3 trips per year = 45 lakh trips
  • Total money spent in in these trips =  Rs 4500 crore per year

We may mostly be visiting Mysore/Mangalore like cities, not rural areas, so the number is on the higher side, Only Rs 4500 crore per year! At 2 lakh/year salaries, only about 2.25 lakh jobs.

What if the trip counts were doubled, to 6 per year? What if there were more spend avenues, to take per trip spend to be higher? How does 2 lakh more jobs sound to you?

Data have used above has extrapolations. But hope I am getting the picture of its implications right. If yes, then is it time to figure out what should the tourism ministry do to get us out more often on domestic trips?

PS: I have ignored the same-day trip data from NSSO report, will put those up in a comment a bit later. Got to run now.


silkboard's picture

avg spend per overnight tourism trip

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I took Rs 10K as the avg spend per overnight trip. But as per the NSSO report, the avg spend per overnight trip, for tourists from urban areas, for purposes other than "social" is

  • leisure/holiday - Rs 5300
  • shopping - Rs 7000
  • "medical" - Rs 5500

Avg spend during "social" purpose trip is lot lower,  Rs 1000. But anyway, the estimate of Rs 10K spend per household per overnight trip is sort of in the ballpark as Bangalore urban area tourist is likely to spend higher than average which is for all urban areas across India.

BTW, do register at NSSO website ( Good source for lots of data compiled by central government via field surveys and statistical analysis.

n's picture

Tourism numbers (as per ad by

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Tourism numbers (as per ad by K'taka govt., see image below; special supplement in Deccan Herald dated 2011.02.11).

Tourist arrivals:
Year     Indians          Foreigners          Total
2005     246,98,243     545,225          252,43,468
2006     361,95,907     505,524          367,01,431
2007     378,25,953     534,563          383,60,516
2008     370,10,928     520,041          375,30,969
2009     327,29,679     529,847          332,59,526

Three years of decline and figures have not yet rebounded to 2006 levels.  The tourism website sadly lacks a state map with clickable regions nor does it provide a way to view online or order the travel guide. Without these basics, it is hard to decide on itineraries. comment guidelines

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