India climbs 16 spots up to 24 in the International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs) ranking according to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Barometer for March 2017.
Despite tourism deterrents such as demonetisation hitting India’s travel sector hard, the recent figures revealed by the UNWTO and the Indian Ministry of Tourism depict positive trends.
The ITAs comprises of two components namely Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Arrivals of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). The UNWTO in its barometer ranks countries in terms of their ITAs. So far only the figures of FTAs were compiled in India. India has started compiling the data in terms of NRIs arriving as well.
Earlier India’s rank in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), 2017 had also shown 12 places jump from 2015. Rank of India in TTCI Report of 2017 was 40th as compared to 52nd in 2015, 65th in 2013 and 68th in 2011.
The number of NRI arrivals during 2014 and 2015 were 5.43 million and 5.26 million, respectively. Accordingly, the numbers of ITAs in India during 2014 and 2015 were 13.11 million and 13.28 million, respectively. After this compilation, India’s rank reflects improvement and also depicts a true and comparable scenario acknowledged by the UNWTO.
The Ministry of Tourism recently released Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism in April 2017. The data shows FEEs during the period January-April 2017 accounted USD 9.275 billion with a growth of 20.5 pc as compared to January-April 2016 and a FEE of USD 7.697 billion with a growth of 6.7 pc over January-April 2015.