Note ban: After good year, tourist arrivals dry up in Dec
Demonetisation and the consequent cash crunch have damaged the tourism in the last month of the year when foreign tourists visit India on New Year. According to the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the body of tour operators which deals exclusively with foreign tourists, the hotel industry suffered a loss of around 30-35 per cent on New Year celebrations. The tourism industry had registered a record 10.4 percent growth in foreign tourist arrival from January to November last but the note ban derailed the industry in the last month of the year.
“Hotel bookings by foreign tourists in India have gone down by 30-35 per cent. The foreign tourists come on a package tour to celebrate Christmas and New Year and booking are usually made in advance,” said Pranob Sarkar, president of IATO. “With declin in the numbers, the related tourist services like travel, catering, handicrafts, skating, and river rafting are also facing a slump,” added Sarkar.
The situation in domestic tourism sector was also hit hard by the note ban as in a quick survey of ASSOCHAM. Social Development Foundation has revealed that the star rated hotels in metros have witnessed a decline of 5 to 7 percent in hotel bookings. “Many hotels have not revised rats of New Year packages and have in fact lowered the rates by about 2 to 3 percent and are building various offers, promotions, deals and discounts on services in one package at a bargain price,” said ASSOCHAM, revealing details of the fortnight survey.
According to the reports of Union Minister of Tourism the during the period January to November 2016, 78.53 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India which was 10.4 percent higher than the same period in 2015, and was 4.7 per cent in 2014. Similarly, the foreign exchange earnings for the same period in 2016 registered a growth of 14.7 percent which was only 9.7 percent in 2014.