Foreign tourist arrivals into India increased 2.3% during the January to March quarter of 2012-13 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, according to government data. According to the ministry of tourism 6.65 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2012 while in 2011, the number was 6.31 million.
To further boost tourism government has extended visa on arrival facility to tourists from several countries.
“We have undertaken several steps to boost tourism in the country and the inflow of tourists from across the world has increased,” a senior official of the ministry of tourism who did not wish to be identified told Hindustan Times.
The “Atithidevo Bhava” — an awareness campaign launched in 2004-05 to sensitise various stakeholders in the tourism industry has paid rich dividends, a report prepared by the tourism ministry said.
The government has also taken the initiative of identifying and developing the nascent and upcoming niche products of the tourism industry. “This is done in order to overcome the aspect of ‘seasonality’ to promote India as a 365 days destination, attract tourists with specific interests and to ensure repeat visits for the unique products in which India has comparative advantage,” the report added.
Hindustan Times had earlier published a report suggesting that there has been a decline in footfalls of foreign tourists, based on a report released by industry body Assocham.
“Our study is based on a proper survey and interviews conducted with tour operators”.