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Elections may play spoilsport for tourism

Tourist inflow into the country could see a 10 to 15 percent drop due to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections as uncertainty in the political set up traditionally leads to low tourist arrivals, reports Samiran Saha.

business Updated: Feb 02, 2009 22:24 IST
Samiran Saha

Tourist inflow into the country could see a 10 to 15 percent drop due to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections as uncertainty in the political set up traditionally leads to low tourist arrivals. According to experts from the travel and tourism sectors, foreign travellers generally tend to avoid a country headed for elections because of uncertainty.

“India attracts vast spectrum travellers, including backpackers, budget travellers and the super rich,” said Mark Martin, senior consultant,, KPMG. “It is the super rich who bring in the maximum foreign exchanges and they are they ones who mostly alter their travel plans due to elections. The maximum cancellations following the Mumbai terror attacks in November were from the budget and super rich.”

“General elections lead to a period of uncertainty and travel takes a hit, but as India suits all kinds of travellers, the hit will not be more than 10 per cent of the total tourist inlflow recorded in the last fiscal,” said Ankur Bhatia, managing director, Amadeus India subcontinent.

Foreign tourist arrivals up to November 2008 was 48 lakh, 8 per cent more than arrivals in the same period in 2007. Foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector were Rs 45,647 crore during the January-November 2008 period.