Tourist Arrivals from U.S. Increased by Over 6%, Says India

Arrival of tourists from the U.S. rose by 6 percent in 2017 as compared to 2016, India’s Ministry of Tourism said, countering an American report that said the number of tourists visiting India saw a decline.


India’s tourism ministry has said that the number of tourists coming to the country from the United States increased 6.17 percent in 2017 over the previous year. The Indian government released its figures of foreign tourist arrivals from the United States, rejecting a recent American report that said that the number declined during the same period. 

The U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) claimed in a report last week that the number of Americans touring India fell by 7 percent in 2017 as compared to 2016.  

India’s Ministry of Tourism has countered that number, saying in a statement that foreign tourist arrivals “from USA to India has never declined since 2010.”  

The ministry clarified that “the Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India from the USA during the year 2017 have registered a positive growth of 6.17% over the year 2016.”  

A year wise list released by the Indian department shows that the number of American tourists visiting India was 980,688 in 2011, marking a 5.30 percent rise over the previous year. It increased to 1,039,947 in 2012, showing a growth rate of 6.04 percent. In 2013, 1,085,309 Americans toured India. In 2014 the number was 1,118,983 and in 2015 it went up to 1,213,624. In 2016 and 2017, the number of Americans visiting India was 1,296,939 and 1,376,919, respectively.

Between January and August this year, 926,192 Americans visited India, which is 8.18 percent higher than the corresponding numbers during the same time last year. 

The NTTO said in its report that traveler volume is based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advanced Passenger Information System wherein all airlines are required to electronically submit passenger data on flights arriving into and departing from the United States. 

The ministry said that the NTTO numbers were flawed as that the source of data for the report is only airlines reporting. “In the cases where direct flight between USA and India is not operating, it is not known whether the final destination or the transit destination is reported as India by the passengers,” the tourism ministry’s statement said. 

Moreover, the Indian ministry said that departures at international check posts other than airports were not captured in the report and therefore, it may not contain the complete information on the outbound departures from the United States. 

It added that the Bureau of Immigration of India (BoI) compiles the data of FTA from records of scanned passport of each person arriving at all the international check posts in India, which include airports, sea ports and land check posts.

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