Employment to surge in Travel & Tourism sectors, 58 million new jobs expected by 2033

Sachin Alug, CEO, NLB Services

Fuelled by India becoming one of the world’s top travel destinations, the travel & tourism ecosystem in India has registered remarkable growth post the pandemic. Serving as a crucial source of foreign exchange, travel, and tourism contributed Rs.15.9 trillion (US$ 191.25 billion) to India’s economy in 2022 and was estimated at Rs. 16.5 trillion for 2023. The growing synergy of the sector has led to steadfast employment generation across the country both in Tier I and Tier II locations. In the pandemic year 2020, the tourism sector accounted for 39 million jobs, constituting 8% of the nation’s total workforce. Post the pandemic recovery tenure, this sector was one of the sectors that saw the quickest recovery. Incidentally, talent demand in tourism recorded a 44% spike in August 2023, and 1.6 million additional jobs were expected to be added within CY 2023. With the continued growth momentum, the travel & tourism sector is all set to add 58.2 million jobs by 2033 throughout the country.

From a location perspective, the top five states attracting domestic tourists so far include Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Top cities driving the increase in hiring include Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Kochi. In tier 2 cities, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh. In the coming 9 years, new jobs are also expected across emerging cities/locations like Gujarat, Lakshadweep, and West Bengal.

Prominent job profiles that will continue to be in demand experiencing y-o-y surges include sales (18% surge), business development (17% surge), chefs (15% surge), travel consultants (15% surge), tour operators (15% surge), travel agents (15% surge), hoteliers (15% surge), guides (20% surge), wildlife experts (12% surge), and transportation providers (15% surge), etc.

Looking at the experience level, as of March 2024, 50% of online job postings in the travel and tourism sector were for freshers or entry-level positions (0-3 years of experience). Intermediate-level roles (4-6 years of experience) and top management positions (15+ years of experience) each represented a 30% and 20% share of the total demand, respectively.

The travel & tourism sector is also undergoing massive transformation, with many new subsets like destination wedding travel, religious tourism, international tourism, adventure sports tourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism, and rural tourism emerging in the new decade. Another interesting emergence is that of sustainable tourism which has observed substantial global adoption, with a market value reaching $180 billion

Companies are also adopting the gig model to address talent shortages and meet the growing demand from tourists. Since January 2023, there has been a 14% increase in gig roles within the travel and tourism sector, encompassing positions such as translators, photographers, and tour guides and this is further expected to increase by 18-20% in the next 2 years.

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