Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments

reogma|Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments
7 mins read

Pilgrimage is one of the sector in the country which has a huge potential. The government is bringing new investment for the growth in the industry.

  • Definition / Scope
  • Market Overview
  • Market Risks
  • Top Market Opportunities
  • Market Drivers
  • Market Restraints
  • Industry Challenges
  • Technology Trends
  • Pricing Trends
  • Regulatory Trends
  • Other Key Market Trends
  • Market Size and Forecast
  • Market Outlook
  • Technology Roadmap
  • Distribution Chain Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Key Market Players
  • Strategic Conclusion
  • References

Definition / Scope

India is known as the land of Gods and pilgrimage is one of the tourist destinations in the country. Pilgrimage are available across the different parts of the country. The below diagram shows the concentration of foreign tourists visiting different parts of India.

Market Overview

Pilgrimage tourism also known as faith tourism, is a type of industry, where people travel individually or in groups to pilgrim destinations, or for leisure (fellowship) purposes.

Faith based tourism exists throughout the world, from India to Mexico, from Israel to Saudi Arabia.

In India, from ancient times pilgrimages has not only been calls to spirituality but also major economic drivers that has an impact not only on the soul of people but also in the pockets of the industry.

reogma|Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments

Market Risks

A sort of less risk is involved as far as pilgrimage industry is concerned.

Pilgrimage travel is often less affected by the economic ups and downs in the market place. Because faith-based travellers are committed travellers and they tend to save for these religious experiences and travel despite the state of the economy. Faith travellers tend to have different motives for their travel then the travellers who do the same for other reasons.

For example, the faith-based traveller often travels as part of a religious obligation or to fulfil a spiritual mission. Faith-based travel can provide a steady flow of income to a local tourism economy.

Top Market Opportunities

The Pilgrimage tourism in many ways parallels and provides opportunities to other forms of event tourism.

When a pilgrimage site grows in numbers of visitors, it helps to develop and grow, a series of dependent or ancillary industries like the souvenir industry or the lodging industry – this is mainly because some visitors visit the places for spirituality, wish for divine healing or thankfulness; others would reflect on characteristics of other forms of tourism venues and other leisure activities.

This leads to the development of the local area and also provides a boom to the local markets and their economic growth.

reogma|Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments

Market Drivers

Pilgrimage is a major industry, it is prompted not only by religious authorities to increase faith but also by commercial drivers such as tourist agencies and transport firms.

Such involvement by these concerns and the infrastructure that they provide – from good transport and accommodation facilities to information provided by guidebooks and on top of that online services help pilgrims plan their journeys; are important drivers or factors in the growth of pilgrimage industry.

Market Restraints

Increased expenses for the development of a particular town; Spending on cleaning garbage collection, water disposal, lighting, marketing and promotion can severely affect the municipal budget and where the pilgrimage site is located.

Increase in the price of real states; Increase in the prices of land and houses; competition for the use of land; poorer section of the population sometimes have to move out of the town.

General price increases; retailers and suppliers increase the prices of goods services; segregation between tourists and locals; desertification or tourist appropriation of creation of ghettos of gentrification.

Industry Challenges

Support industries should coordinate with the pilgrimage cycle and needs. All too often the spirituality that visitors seek is lost at the level of supporting industries.

During faith based tourism periods it is essential that hotels and restaurants connect with the art and cultural communities to develop an overall faith based product rather than a mishmash of unrelated offerings.

Technology Trends

E-visas for foreign tourists on arrival in the country has also have a deep impact in the increase in numbers of tourists.

Pricing Trends

  • The government is reducing subsidies on the public transport.
  • Airline industry consists of maximum private players which has led to the competitive pricing of the air tickets and the prices are found to come down over the years.

Regulatory Trends

The policy framework of the Pilgrimage industry is same as that of the overall tourism industry of India.

Since independence many changes have been made in tourism policy. Before many less importance was given to this sector but it has changed in the decades.

Government approach towards tourism totally changed during the mid-80s time and policies were adopted in place of schemes, for development of both international and domestic tourism.

Stress was given on the development of selected tourism places and diversification from cultural tourism to holiday and leisure tourism. An export house status was provided to tourism sector during the ninth plan – Since 1947, the Indian economy has been premised on the concept of planning.

This has been carried through the Five-Year Plans, developed, executed, and monitored by the Planning Commission (NITI Aayog after 2014) and special thrust was also given to the development of pilgrimage tourism, rural tourism, heritage tourism and health tourism.

The promotion of pilgrimage tourism was also formulated by the respective state governments in the following years. Allocation of funds for the country’s infrastructure development.

The visa on arrival began in 2014 and as of April 2015 it has catered to tourists from over 40 countries, with a plan to expand this to around 100 nationalities over the next few years.

Other Key Market Trends

The biggest trend that was seen in 2014 was around mobile technology. Usage of apps for travel bookings has increased at a tremendous rate.

reogma|Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments

Market Size and Forecast

The Pilgrimage industry is in its forefront and various marketers can enter the market and develop themselves and the whole market as well.

  • Marketers could participate in providing basic sanitary facilities along with they could promote their products viz. If X company sponsors the Free or Paid Rest room facilities, its products would only be sold.
  • Marketers could also participate in constructing rooms for devotees to stay and promote their products.
  • Marketers could offer free/paid transportation facilities which will carry the promotion of their products/ services.
  • Pharmaceutical companies can sponsor free medical camps in which their products could be promoted.
  • Food products companies could set up their outlets to sell products with subsidized/actual prices.
  • Clothing/Garment companies could set up their stalls to promote their products and services.

Market Outlook

Pilgrimages are usually associated with religious events or locations, they may also come in the form of visits to places where political events have occurred, burial sites of political leaders, or famous monuments.

The land of versatility – India is second to none, more when it becomes a centre of attention all because of the different religions to which it serves as its home. Every religion has its significance and it is possible to get a glimpse of each of them and get mesmerised in the rich knowledge, the way followers of different faiths try to connect with their Creator at various pilgrimage sites in India.

reogma|Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments

Technology Roadmap

  • GPS system helping tourists reach at the proper destination.
  • Anti threat system for the protection of the tourist.
  • Centralized booking system for pilgrimage.

Distribution Chain Analysis

For the trend of chain analysis we can take a look at the various hotel chains that have been developed to enhance the growing pilgrimage industry.

With travellers ranging from celebrities to businessmen and young professionals, the demand for branded hotels at religious places has gone up.

Due to lack of infrastructure it is a highly under-supplied market and hence the hoteliers have found a great opportunity to grow themselves.

reogma|Pilgrimage industry in India spurred by new investments

Competitive Landscape

Competitive landscape gives a view about the competition a particular industry faces in the market place.

Places of pilgrimage provided a firm ground to tourism in the beginning and still continue to be one of the most effective factors of promoting tourism in India.

However Pilgrimage Industry faces tough competition from its rival tourism sectors such as adventure tourism or leisure tourism as changes can be noticed in the paradigm of Indian tourists with a tilt from pilgrimage to pleasure trips.

More number of people have started to go adrenaline filled adventure trips as these activities provide a wider scope for enjoyment and other fun activities.

Key Market Players

The following destinations see the most number of visitors in most of the following places:

  • Ajmer: Ajmer is the holy city of Rajasthan. It is located 131kms west of Jaipur.Nasiyan Jain temple located on Prithviraj Marg, is very famous and open to visitors.
  • Tirupati : Tirupati is situated in the Southern region of Andhra Pradesh of Chittoor district .One of the most famous Hindu temples in the world is at Tirumala crowning the seven hills, with Lord Venkateshwara as presiding deity.
  • Varanasi : Varanasi is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.This is one of the oldest living cities in the world.Varanasi is the religious centre of the world of Hindus.
  • Ujjain : Ujjain on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River is situated in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh state. Ujjain once in every 12 years the Kumbha Mela is held on the banks of river Shirpa.
  • Puri : The holy city of Puri, 60kms from Bhubaneshwar is one of the four holiest points of pilgrimage for Hindus.The other important features of Puri are its beautiful beaches which have offered pleasure to both pilgrims and swimmers for centuries.
  • Pondicherry : Pondicherry is situated at a distance of about 160 kms south of Chennai on the Coromandel coast. Pondicherry is surrounded by Bay of Bengal on East, and on the other sides are the South Arcot District of Tamilnadu.

Strategic Conclusion

The Pilgrimage sector of India is a booming sector and it is deemed to grow with the right strategies and developments. The improvements in accessibility and availability of transport will lead to smooth functioning of the industry.

With the rise of middle and upper-middle class of the society and increase in their disposable income will further lead to increased number of visitors in the country. The rise of this sector will also provide more employment opportunities and growth of other ancillary industries.

Further Reading

  • http://www.tourism-review.com/travel-tourism-magazine-pilgrimage-tourism-is-often-big-business-article1484
  • http://www.indianmirror.com/tourism/home/pilgrimage-places.html
  • http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/tourism/growth-of-tourism-in-india-its-impact-on-employment-and-economic-development/14110/

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