Foreign Tourists Arrivals in India Crossed 10 Million in 2017
India earned $27 billion from foreign tourist arrivals in 2017.
India earned $27 billion from its foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs), which crossed the 10-million mark, in 2017. The rise in numbers shown by the Ministry of Tourism was echoed by travel website TripAdvisor in its “2017 Inbound Travel Study” that revealed that international travel interest in India is increasing.
“I think our sector is doing very well. But am I happy with the numbers? I want these numbers to increase dramatically because India is an incredible place and we have everything for everybody. So we are trying to bring in lot more people,” Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons said in Kochi on Jan. 16, the Times of India reported.
According to the Indian tourism statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism, India’s share of international tourist arrivals in the world is 1.18 per cent and in Asia it’s 4.72 per cent. Tourism sector contributed 6.88 per cent to India’s GDP and provided 12 per cent of the jobs in 2017, according to Alphons.
The FTA in 2016 was 8.80 million and earnings from it were $22.92 billion. FTA has an annual growth rate of 9.7 per cent while earnings grew at a rate of 8.8 per cent.
In Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017, India ranks 40 while it was placed at 65th spot four years ago.
The ministry credits the government’s focus on developing infrastructure, promoting theme-based circuits, and developing religious circuits under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, which includes a Buddhist circuit.
“Eleven projects have been sanctioned under this scheme in 2017-18 alone, taking the total number up to 67 projects. The plan is for holistic development of pilgrimage destinations, the Buddhist circuit being a case in point,” a ministry official told TOI.
According to the TripAdvisor survey, there was a 134 per cent year-on-year growth in interest from China for Indian destinations. Following China, Bangladesh showed 60 per cent annual growth in interest, followed by Singapore at 57 per cent, Thailand at 20 per cent, Japan at 16 per cent and Malaysia at 12 per cent.
The private organization’s survey showed that 25.1 per cent travelers were interested in Andaman and Nicobar Islands followed by 12.3 per cent in Bihar 12.3, 9.1 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 7.4 per cent in Kerala, 6.8 per cent in Mizoram, among others.
The Ministry of Tourism is planning initiatives towards popularizing destinations in the Northeast, including promoting women’s polo in Manipur for tourists, and lush golf courses.