India, a booming sector in tourism worldwide, has witnessed a significant rise in the growth rate of Foreign Tourist Arrivals, opening up newer avenues in trade opportunities and cooperation in the international market.
While surpassing the growth rate of 6.8 pc in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) observed in January 2016 over January 2015, a significantly higher double-digit growth rate of 16.5 pc has been witnessed correspondingly in the month of January 2017 over January 2016. A similar higher growth rate is also observed in the Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) during 2016, recording a growth rate of 15.5 pc over 2015, according to recent reports by the Ministry of Tourism.
The contribution of the top ten States or Union Territories during 2016 stands at about 84.2 pc to the total number of Domestic Tourist Visits as against 83.62 pc recorded in 2015.
The top ten States in terms of number of DTVs (in millions), during 2016, were Tamil Nadu (344.3), Uttar Pradesh (229.6), Madhya Pradesh (184.7), Andhra Pradesh (158.5), Karnataka (129.8), Maharashtra (115.4), West Bengal (74.5), Telangana (71.5), Gujarat (42.8) and Rajasthan (41.5).
What do the figures indicate?
“The figures are clearly indicative of the developing infrastructure, in terms of more 3-star, 4-star and 5-star hotels coming up and developing roads and transport facilities. The Regional Connectivity Scheme, for example, has made air travel accessible to myriad economic groups, increasing the number of tourists availing airplanes. This has helped in boosting tourism. The tourists these days, are smart, informed and know what they want. So value for money incentives and tour packages, which are a rage these days also help to attract tourists. Actually, there are no one or two reasons, but several such factors which holistically contributed and is contributing even at present, to boost tourism in India. For example, the MoU signed between Airbnb and the tourism boards of India will only help promote tourism in India. It is the first of its kind revenue-sharing agreement with a state government by Airbnb,” quoted a senior official of the Maharashtra Tourism Board.
India and the World
According to a new survey report released by the Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, Tamil Nadu topped the list of states with most number of foreign visitor arrivals for 2016.
Tamil Nadu has emerged the winner, for the third time with an approximate 4.72 million visitors. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi have secured the second, third and fourth place with 4.62, 3.16 and 2.52 million visitors, respectively. The fifth place has been occupied by West Bengal with 1.53 million visitors while Rajasthan finished a close sixth with 1.51 million tourists. Kerala finished seventh on the list, with an approximate 1.04 million visitors, which is low compared to its past records. Goa, a popular tourist destination was awarded the ninth place with 0.68 million visitors however below Bihar, which finished eighth with 1.01 million tourists. The tenth place was taken by Punjab, who finished with 0.66 million visitors.