Domestic and Foreign tourist arrivals in India
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Despite growing numbers, challenges galore
Although India is witnessing a positive growth in the domestic and foreign tourist arrival in the recent times, domestic challenges such as encouraging dispersal of tourists and international disputes such as the Brexit keep the tourism industry on its toes.
The Indian Ministry of Tourism (MoT) in the latest compilation of data revealed that the number of domestic tourist visits to the States and Union Territories was 1432 million in 2015, as compared to 1282.8 million in 2014, registering a growth of 11.63 pc over 2014.
The trend of the domestic travellers in India remained more or less similar in terms of the top ten states. While Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have maintained the first two spots, Andhra Pradesh has gained the third position, leaving Karnataka and Maharashtra at the succeeding fourth and fifth positions respectively.
The overall foreign tourist visit to the states and union territories in 2015 was 23.3 million, a 4.4 pc increase from 2014. However, the thrust of the new electronic visa policy could hardly make a significant impact on the foreign tourist arrivals in the first six months of 2016. Recently, Bangladesh accounted for highest share of tourist arrivals, followed by USA and UK in April 2016. However, the overall growth in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in May 2016 over the same period in 2015 was merely 3.7 pc. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi were the top five states, in terms of registering the most foreign tourist visits. West Bengal improved a rank to climb over Rajasthan on the fifth spot.
Growing medical tourisme in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu remained the favourite state both to the domestic as well as international travellers. Enthused by the developments in the infrastructure, air connectivity and innovative tourism policies, the state has improved by leaps and bounds over the years. The Medical tourism sector of Tamil Nadu is yet another affirmative to the growing traveller numbers. The affordable, as well as the trusted medical facilities of the state, has not only allured Indians but also medical tourists from Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and even some from Europe and North America.
The Brexit might hurt Goa
Brexit might bring a sudden drop in UK tourist numbers, following a depreciating of the British pound value. Apart from the other states, Goa used to receive the maximum number of UK tourists over the years. In a similar situation, Goa witnessed a huge fall in tourism when the Russian Ruble was hit badly in 2014-15. Now when the Britain’s Pound Sterling is seeing a plunge, the state is bracing up for another transitory lull in the tourism sector. The high priced hotels and travel service providers have almost started to formulate new strategies to cope up the loss from decreasing UK tourists. Although, there are fears of reduced tourist expenditure, the small and medium range hotels should benefit.
Pushing forward new destinations
The top ten states in terms of domestic and international tourism remained unaltered, apart from a few minor changes. While Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and the likes are doing fairly well to push the boundaries, the state governments, along with the central one, should aim to execute new ideas to uphold new destinations with vivid outlook. Otherwise, the diversity of the country remains untapped as well as making these most visited states more crowded.
Dispersal of tourism is definitely the way out to bring in a homogeneous and organic development in the tourism sector in India. Abiding by the sustainable guidelines and improving the basic infrastructure of the North Eastern states or of states such as Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab and Odisha, might prove instrumental in the future.