Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is a travel and tourism organization in India, which is responsible for the development and promotion of Indian tourism at domestic as well as international level. It helps in the promotion and development of tourism.
In 1996, the government decided to merge three public sector tourism undertaking into one composite corporation with the objective of securing co-ordination in tourism planning and in the policy, efficiency and economic working of the tree corporations viz. Hotel Corporation of India Ltd., India Tourism Corporation Ltd., and India Tourism Transport Undertaking.
In October 1966, Government established the Indian Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., (ITDC), under the provisions of the Company Act, 1956, with an authorized capital of 5 crores. The capital was financed by the central government in term of equity and loans.
Objectives of ITDC
According to the Memorandum and the Articles of Associations, the corporation has the following objectives:
- To develop tourism infrastructure.
- The construction, management, and marketing of tourism products including hotels and catering units.
- Establishment and management of tourist transport facilities.
- The setting up of shopping facilities, i.e., duty-free shops and tax-free shops.
- Creating convention and conference facilities.
- Providing consultancy services and training for tourism-related projects.
- Promote tourism traffic in the country through food festivals, fairs and joint ventures abroad.
- Organise cultural and entertainment programmes.
- Provide publicity abroad.
Operations of ITDC
ITDC is a nodal agency in the field of travel and tourism sector in India. Presently, ITDC has the following business groups and operating following operations:
1# Ashoka Group of Hotels – Accommodation and Catering Division
2# Ashoka Travel and Tours – Travel Trade Division
3# Duty-Free Shops and Tax – Shopping Division
Ashoka Group of Hotels
The Ashoka chain is the largest hotel chain in public sector undertaking. Originally, it was providing accommodation at those places where the private sector was shy of the investing in the lodging sector.
Now, it runs hotels all over the country. ITDC’s hotels’ inventory ranges from five-star deluxe hotels to lodges. It has 26 properties at 23 prominent tourist places. These properties are divided into elite, classic and comfortable hotels as ‘Samrat’ in New Delhi, ‘Kanishka’ in New Delhi, ‘Ashoka’ in Jaipur and traveler lodge in Manali.
Ashoka Travel and Tours
ITDC’s in-house travel agency was established in 1983. It offers a number of package tour both domestic and international. It has the largest fleet of cars and coaches. It also promotes domestic tourism and launched a number of packages of which ‘pilgrims programme’ and ‘Buddhist’ are the latest packages in collaboration with the Railways.
The in-house travel agency also handles conferences and inbound tours. During the last two years, this division had made a remarkable profit.
The corporation, to facilitate airport shopping, has created 32 Duty-Free Shops in the arrival and departure lounges of international airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram (Goa).
A tax-free shop is at Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi. This trade is consistently providing revenue in the corporation. Duty-Free Shop has contributed 38 percent of the net profit of ITDC, during the last year the government has decided to operate more duty-free shops near future.
Organisation Structure of ITDC
The functions of the corporation are divided into various divisions. Each division has sub-divisions to carry on smooth functions of the corporation. The organizational structure of ITDC is following as:
Role and Contributions of ITDC in Tourism and Travel Trade
There is no doubt, that the ITDC is at the forefront of Indian Tourism which possesses an elaborate infrastructure of hotels, beach resorts, travel agency, car rental services, duty-free shops, consultancy services, and convention and conference facilities across the length and the breadth of the country.
During the recent years, the corporation has entered into joint venture agreements with several state government to set up mid-market or budget hotels. It has also offered tour packages in collaboration with Air India, Indian Airlines, State Tourism Corporations, and Indian Railways, as ‘enjoy India’ for domestic tourists and ‘discover India,’ ‘Pilgrims Tours’ and ‘Buddhist Package’ etc.
The role of ITDC can be better understood in the following points:
- Helps, in the development of Infrastructure.
- Promotes India as a tourist destination.
- Helps in the promotion of domestic tourism in collaboration with railways.
- Provides consultancy services.
- Promotes inbound tourists traffic.
- Provides training facilities.
Financial Performance of ITDC
The high profits since 1991-92 speak of the sound financial performance of ITDC. During a short span, the corporation has made a remarkable contribution towards the Indian Economy.
On May 1998, the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) was criticized by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport and Tourism, despite an increase in turnover and profits. Standing that the performance of ITDC is not as “rosy as has made out,” the committee called for a closer look into the working of ITDC.
The committee was of the view that ITDC has generated increased turnover and profits. Though the company owns prime properties all over the country yet it has not been able to generate more business due to the poor quality of products. The committee also suggested improving the quality of products by providing training to the employees.
During the last year, the disinvestment commission had said that government should offer up to 74 percent of its equity. In the year 1999, the government has offered the equity in ITDC for employees and public sector financial institutions up to 74 percent. This will help the company to raise its finance for expansion and diversification of its activities.
The corporation shall continue to play a strategic and catalytic role in the field of tourism development. However, the corporation needs to implement strategies and action plans to Toto, if it has to remain a profit-making public sector enterprise. Recently the government has given the status of “Mini Ratna” to ITDC.