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Faith-based tourism in India is estimated to be a $1025 million market

According to Future Market Insights (FMI), the India faith based tourism market size is estimated at US$ 1,025.57 million in 2023 at a CAGR of 16.2% from 2023 to 2033. Indian faith based tourism market share in its parent market is about 6%-11%.
Religion-based tourism has been recognized as of significant importance by the Indian government and efforts are being made to promote and develop these destinations. Government support for tourism includes improving infrastructure, preserving heritage sites, and facilitating travel and accommodations.
The religious heritage and cultural richness of India make religious tourism an important component of its overall tourism market. Few of such schemes are Government of India has set a target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2020 and aims to double foreign exchange earnings from the sector:

  • PRASAD, the Ministry of Tourism aimed to transform pilgrimages into spiritual centers.
  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme, This scheme promotes tourism in specific regions by developing thematic circuits.
  • The E-Visa Facility, India's electronic visa system, helps foreign tourists qualify for and obtain visas online, including those traveling on faith-based missions.
  • Infrastructure Development, Tourism and pilgrimage sites have been developed and improved with government investments to enhance their experiences.
  • Marketing Campaigns: The Ministry of Tourism in India runs campaigns aimed at showcasing the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of the country to faith-based tourists.
  • Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), aims to promote and preserve cultural and religious heritage in heritage cities.

India's rich diversity of religious traditions may encourage travelers to explore and understand religious diversity through interfaith tourism. As a result, mutual respect and cultural understanding may be fostered in future
The rapid growth of spiritual tourism in India is driving the Indian faith based tourism market. The Indian government's tourism programs, such as Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive, are creating a positive outlook for the market.
The large number of tourists drawn to religious events is helping to grow the Indian faith based tourism market. Aside from that, the tourism, roadway, and railway sectors are working to improve connectivity between pilgrimage sites, thereby boosting market growth.
Another major growth driver is the expansion of online retail channels. Furthermore, the growing integration of virtual reality (VR) with religious and spiritual services is expected to propel the Indian faith based tourism market forward.

Trends Shaping India Faith Based Tourism Market
Religious tourism is both contributing to and benefiting from the country's overall growth in the travel and tourism sector. The dynamic India faith based tourism market growth trend has been shaped by a growing middle class and rising disposable income.
Aside from Indian residents, the segment's popularity among overseas Indians and foreigners has steadily increased over the years. With Yoga retreats and Ayurvedic spas gaining popularity among both domestic and foreign tourists, India faith based tourism market is taking on a spiritual and medical twist.
A growing number of domestic and international tourists seeking indigenous cultural experiences visit Rishikesh, Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, and Pondicherry to investigate the concept of holistic and sustainable living.
Foreign tourists' strong interest in retreats and spiritual travel has prompted the government to promote international inbound tourism by expanding the 'Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme' to 11 countries escalating the India faith based tourism market future trends.
An Explosion of Online Social Media Contributing to the India Faith Based Tourism
A large number of Indians use social media; approximately 508 million Indians use social media platforms. This allows the player to aggressively market their deals and packages on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
An increase in the number of travel bloggers has impacted positively in surge of the India faith based tourism adoption trends as well as the India faith based tourism market opportunities.
Travel blogs have grown in popularity as a source of travel information. Bloggers share their travel experiences and are typically regarded as reliable sources of information. They shape readers' attitudes and impressions of locations, influencing travel decisions. - Ronak Shah, Principal Consultant,Future Market Insights