Travel & Tourism

Advantage Tamil Nadu

  • Travel and Tourism, as one of India’s largest service industries, plays an extraordinary role in driving the nation’s growth and prosperity.
  • Tamil Nadu is home to a diverse array of tourist attractions, breathtaking natural scenery and a rich cultural legacy. Because of this diversity, it has become a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, building a strong ecosystem for entrepreneurs to thrive.
  • Travel and tourism are two of the largest industries in India, with a total contribution of about US$ 178 billion to the country’s GDP.
  • Tamil Nadu is the sixth most visited State in India, with over 360 million domestic and international tourists in 2021.
  • Tamil Nadu has a rich cultural heritage, with over 33,000 temples. It is often referred to as the “Land of Temples” due to its plethora of ancient and intricately designed temples. The State is steeped in history, with temples like the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai and the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur being architectural marvels that attract millions of devotees and history enthusiasts annually.
  • The State has a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, including the Mudumalai National Park and the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, which are home to a variety of animals, including elephants, tigers and leopards.
  • Tamil Nadu has a large pool of skilled workers in the tourism sector. This is due to the presence of a number of tourism and hospitality institutes in the State. It is also well-known for its cuisine, which is a fusion of Dravidian and Aryan influences.
  • India offers geographical diversity, world heritage sites and niche tourism products like cruises, adventure, medical, eco-tourism, etc. Incredible India has spurred growth in tourist arrivals and employment.
  • In 2021, the Government of India announced 40,000 e-tourist visas out of 500,000 free regular visas for tourists, to ensure a geographical spread of the incentive to important source markets globally. Under the Union Budget 2023-24, US$ 2.1 billion is allocated to the Ministry of Tourism as the sector holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth.
  • The State is spending Rs 3000 crore for religious and spiritual tourism. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is a growth engine that not only attracts the maximum number of tourist visits in the country but also provides for a lot of employment and economic growth. It is estimated that about 8 to 10% of Tamil Nadu’s GDP comes from the tourism sector. The tourism sector generated over ₹1 lakh crore in revenue for Tamil Nadu in 2021. This is expected to grow to over ₹1.5 lakh crore by 2025.
  • Startups can tap into this diverse market by offering niche experiences, such as adventure tourism, eco-tourism, or culinary tours, catering to the varied interests of tourists.
  • The Tamil Nadu Government is supportive of Tourism Startups. It offers a number of incentives and subsidies to tourism Startups, such as tax breaks and land subsidies.

Sector Incharge

Karuppanan P


Travel and Tourism Sector Map


The Travel and Tourism industry is a global powerhouse, contributing significantly to GDP and job creation. Travel can transform lives, inspire creativity and connect people from different corners of the world. India is geographically diverse and offers a variety of cultures that come with its own experiences, making it one of the leading countries in terms of international tourism expenditure. International tourist arrivals are expected to reach 30.5 million by 2028.

The Travel and Tourism industry is a complex and diverse sector that encompasses a wide range of sub-sectors. The main sectors in this industry are transportation, food and beverage, accommodation and entertainment. In addition, there are a number of sub-sectors that play an important role in the Travel and Tourism industry. They include travel agents and tour operators, tourism information and guiding services and trade associations and regulators. The Travel and Tourism sector is a diversified industry that includes Heritage Tourism, Sports Tourism, Education Tourism, Eco Tourism, Medical Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Rural & Village Tourism, Culinary Tourism, Religious Tourism, Wellness Tourism, Culture Tourism, Business Tourism, Leisure Tourism and Finance Tourism.

The tourism sector is projected to contribute $250 Bn to the country’s GDP by 2030, generating employment for 137 Mn individuals, and accruing $56 Bn in foreign exchange earnings.

The travel market in India is projected to reach US$ 125 billion by FY27. The Medical Tourism sector is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 21.1% in 2020-27.


Union Government

The Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to promote the Travel and Tourism sector in the country. They include:

  • Swadesh Darshan: This scheme aims to develop thematic tourist circuits in the country, such as the Buddhist Circuit, the Ramayana Circuit and the Tribal Circuit.
  • PRASAD: This scheme aims to develop and beautify pilgrimage sites.
  • Dekho Apna Desh: This scheme aims to promote domestic tourism by encouraging Indians to travel to different parts of the country.
  • Incredible India!: This campaign is aimed at promoting India as a tourist destination among international travellers.
  • e-Tourist Visa: This scheme allows tourists from certain countries to obtain an electronic visa to India online.
  • Tourist Infrastructure Development Scheme: This scheme provides financial assistance to state governments and other organisations for the development of tourist infrastructure, such as roads, airports and hotels.

In addition to these schemes, the Union Government also provides a number of other incentives to the Travel and Tourism sector, such as tax breaks and subsidies.

The Union Government’s initiatives have helped to boost tourist arrivals to India in recent years. In 2022, India received over 8.8 million foreign tourists, a significant increase from the previous year.

Union Budget 2023

  • 50 tourist destinations to be developed as a whole package for domestic and international tourism
  • Sector-specific skilling and entrepreneurship development to be dovetailed to achieve the objectives of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’
  • Tourism infrastructure and amenities to be facilitated in border villages through the Vibrant Villages Programme
  • Unity Malls to be set up in State capitals or prominent tourist centres
  • An outlay of US$ 170.85 million for Swadesh Darshan
  • US$ 2.1 billion is allocated to the Ministry of Tourism as it holds huge opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for youth

State Government

The Tamil Nadu Government has taken several initiatives to promote and develop the tourism sector. Investments in infrastructure, marketing, and tourism promotion have boosted the sector’s growth.

Some of these initiatives are

  • Development of tourist infrastructure: The Tamil Nadu Government has invested heavily in the development of tourist infrastructure, such as roads, airports, hotels and tourist attractions.
  • Marketing and promotion: It is marketing and promoting the State as a tourist destination to domestic and international travellers. It has launched a number of tourism campaigns, such as ‘Tamil Nadu: Your Destination for Heritage, Culture, and Adventure.’
  • Incentives to tourism businesses: It is providing incentives, such as subsidies, to tourism businesses. It provides a subsidy to tour operators who organise tours to rural areas.

Some special initiatives of the Tamil Nadu Government in the Travel and Tourism sector

  • Tamil Nadu Tourism Policy: The Tamil Nadu Tourism Policy aims to create an enabling environment to promote inclusive tourism growth by incorporating sustainability as an underlying principle in all its activities and initiatives. The policy proposes strategic initiatives that accelerate economic growth through multiplier effect.
  • Tourism Destination Development Scheme: This scheme aims to identify and develop tourist destinations in the State on the principles of integrated and sustainable development with focus on enhancement of tourist experiences at the destination.
  • Adventure and Eco-Camping Development Scheme: This scheme aims to promote adventure tourism and eco-camping at lesser-known destinations in the State.
  • Skill Development for Tourism Sector: The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has identified a list of skill development courses to equip the youth with the requisite skill sets in various tourism-related activities and benefit from employment opportunities in the sector.

In addition to the above initiatives, the State Government is also working on a number of other projects to promote the Travel and Tourism sector in the state. They include

  • Development of a new tourism circuit in the Western Ghats: This circuit will focus on promoting tourism in the lesser-known hill stations of the Western Ghats.Development of a new tourism circuit in the Cauvery Delta: This circuit will focus on promoting tourism in the rural areas of the Cauvery Delta.
  • Development of a new tourism circuit in the southern districts: This circuit will focus on promoting tourism in the coastal areas of the southern districts.

The State Government is also working on a number of initiatives to promote sustainable tourism. These initiatives include

  • Development of eco-friendly tourist resorts: The government is working with private investors to develop eco-friendly tourist resorts in the State.
  • Promoting responsible tourism practices: The government is working with tourism businesses to promote responsible tourism practices, such as minimising environmental impact and benefiting local communities.


The State Government has taken several steps to promote the tourism industry and there are a number of resources available to support businesses in the sector. The organisations and initiatives that support the Travel and Tourism industry in Tamil Nadu include:

Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation

TTDC is a government-owned corporation that plays a key role in promoting and developing tourism in the State. It was established with the aim of promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu and providing services for visitors from around the world. It boasts the largest chain of hotels in South India, with 53 properties and a fleet of 14 coaches. TTDC offers a range of services, including hotels, tours, youth hostels, restaurants, boat houses, telescope houses, petrol stations, coaches for tours, and an exhibition site at Island Ground. TTDC offers a variety of package tours that cover the entire Southern States, allowing tourists to explore the diverse attractions of the region.

Tourism Information Centers

TTDC operates a network of Tourism Information Centres (TICs) across Tamil Nadu. They provide information and assistance to tourists on a variety of topics, including travel itineraries and tourist attractions.

Tamil Nadu Tourism Police

It is a specialised unit of the State police that is responsible for the safety and security of tourists. Tourism Police provide a range of services, including tourist assistance, lost and found services and security at tourist attractions.

Travel Agencies and Tour Operators

There are numerous travel agencies and tour operators who offer customizable tour packages for Tamil Nadu. They can help plan your trip based on your interests and budget.

Local Apps

Local travel apps provide information on attractions, restaurants and transportation options. Apps like “Tamil Nadu Tourism” or popular travel apps like TripAdvisor can be useful.


Tamil Nadu has a good network of roads, railways and airports. It is also home to four international airports, in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Madurai

Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry includes popular hotels, restaurants and tour guides.

Tourist attractions

Tamil Nadu is home to a number of popular tourist attractions, including temples, beaches, hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries and cultural heritage sites.

  • Places of worship : Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai; Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur; Airavatesvara Temple, Darasuram; Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam; Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple, Palani; Mariamman Temple, Samayapuram; Our Lady of Health Church, Velankanni; Nagore Dargah
  • Beaches: Marina, Kovalam, Chennai; Mahabalipuram Beach; Silver Beach, Cuddalore
  • Hill stations: Udhagamandalam, Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Top Slip
  • Wildlife sanctuaries : Mudumalai National Park, Bandipur National Park, Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Cultural heritage sites: Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur, Chettinad

Overall, Tamil Nadu has a strong resource base for the Travel and Tourism sector. The State has a rich natural and cultural heritage, a skilled workforce, well-developed infrastructure and the support of the government and other organisations. This makes Tamil Nadu an ideal destination for businesses looking to invest in the Travel and Tourism sector.