Despite adversities caused by note ban, the footfall of foreign tourists in India was highest after 2010 with a growth rate of 10.7 per cent. According to the data with the Ministry of tourism, the arrival of foreign tourists in India in December was below expectations but higher than previous year.
“The growth rate of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) for 2016 was 10.7 per cent which was only 4.5 per cent in 2015,” said a senior officer of Ministry of Tourism. The ministry collects monthly FTA data regarding arrival of foreign tourists in the country. According to the ministry, 8.89 million foreign tourists arrived in 2016 against 8.02 million for 2015. “In 2015, the growth in FTA was 4.5 per cent,” he added.
In previous years, the highest growth rate in FTA was recorded at 11.8 per cent in 2010, informed the officer.
According to the available records, the highest-ever growth rate in foreign tourist arrivals was around 26 per cent in 2004, after the launch of ‘Incredible India’ campaign by Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in 2002.
In December 2016, around 10.4 lakh tourists arrived in the country against 9.1 lakh in the same month of 2015.
“We were expecting more foreign tourists but the tourist arrivals were below expectations in the festive season of Christmas and New Year but it was definitely higher than the previous year,” said the officer.
In November, 9.3 per cent more foreign tourists came to India.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday, the arrival of foreign tourists on e-Tourist Visa increased 56.6 per cent in December 2016 in comparison to the same month in 2015.
“UK continues to occupy top slot with 22.4 per cent, followed by USA 16.4 per cent while Russian Federation claimed 7.7 per cent,” said a press statement by the Ministry of Tourism.
The facility of e-Visa is available to the citizens of 161 countries, arriving at 16 International Airports in India. New Delhi’s IGI Airport issued maximum 36.6 per cent e-Tourist Visa, said the statement.