The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has estimated that the state of Uttarakhand has lost a revenue earnings of about Rs.12,000 crore from its tourism sector alone in the current fiscal on account of torrential rains that devastated the state. Close to about 11% of state’s GSDP has been ruined in terms of prospective tourism earnings on account of the flood in all its riverbeds through which the services sector, specially the tourism industry was flourishing in the state in the last couple of years, points out the assessment of the PHD Research Bureau, the research arm of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In a statement issued here today, the Executive Director, PHDCCI Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, said, ‘Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Uttarakhand at factor cost at current prices stands at about Rs.1,07,548 crore in the year that came to an end on March 31st 2013, 11% of the GSDP has been washed away in terms of prospective tourism earnings due to floods that engulfed the state in mid of this month, further points out the PHDCCI quick assessment on losses of its tourism sector. It may be highlighted here that tourism was concentrated vastly along sides of rivers of Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini and Dhauliganga in both Garhwal and Kumoan regions’.
Around 60% of the total tourism prospectus of the state has been severely damaged due to excessive rains, remains of which are even hardly seen as indicated in the pictures carried out by army, airforce, as well as government and privately owned helicopters. Massive damage has been resulted from infrastructure ruined including roads, buildings and houses.
According to it, the reconstruction of damaged tourist destinations is expected to burden the state government with huge amount in wake of rising input costs such as mounting prices of cement, iron, labour costs etc.
Structure of Uttarakhand’s economy
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from MOSPI
Uttarakhand is one of the fastest growing states of India; the State’s economy posted an annual average real growth rate of 12.4% during the period 2005-06 to 2012-13. The services sector contributes around 53% in GSDP followed by the industry and agriculture sectors at around 36% and 11% respectively in 2012-13. Share of tourism sector in the state’s economy has shown excellent growth during the recent years.
The state is a services driven economy including tourism, banking and information technology, are the vital areas. The state has the potential to be developed as tourism hub of India. It is one of the most preferred locations in India for pilgrimage, adventure and eco-tourism.
The share of tourism in the GSDP of Uttarakhand is estimated at around 25-30% in the recent years boosted by the recent developments in the tourism infrastructure of the state. The state is expected to attract around 47 million domestic tourists and about 0.5 million foreign tourists in 2013. However, it is expected to severely hit due to most recent disastrous flash floods.
Blessed with enormous natural resources and beauty, Uttarakhand is strategically located at the foothills of the Himalayan ranges and has a mountainous topography. It is a beautiful state endowed with about 175 rare species of aromatic and medicinal plants.
Since there exist huge potential for tourism in the state, with demand emanating from both the domestic and international tourists. Therefore, tourist zones needs to be connected by roads, rails, and airports. The potential of tourism sector needs to be diversified to overcome the seasonality factor and to create employment for year-round tourism, said PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry.