Despite the fall of the rupee, tourism is one industry that is looking up in Uttar Pradesh and bringing in foreign exchange to the country, says an ASSOCHAM report released on Thursday.
It says Uttar Pradesh commands fourth highest share in foreign tourist arrival across India. “This should prompt the state government and stakeholders to promote the industry and tap it all the more,” feel experts.
ASSOCHAM, the apex industry body, reports that growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 13%, India’s foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector are likely to reach US $26 billion in 2015 from the current level of about $20 billion.
“Growing at a CAGR of about 7%, the arrival of foreign tourists in India is likely to cross 80 lakh mark by 2015 from the current level of about 70 lakh,” according to an analysis of international tourist receipts and foreign tourist arrival in India conducted by ASSOCHAM, ahead of the World Tourism Day celebrations on September 27.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Rajasthan are top five destinations attracting maximum number of foreign tourists and collectively account for 70% of the total number of foreign tourists visiting India.
UP commands fourth highest share of about 10% in total foreign tourist arrivals in India.
The number of foreign tourist arrival in UP has increased by 1.5 times during 2006-2012. While around 13.2 lakh foreign tourists visited UP in 2002, the number went up to about 20 lakh in 2012, thereby registering a growth of over 50% during the period.
Making significant strides in the tourism sector, India has improved its share in international tourism receipts in the past decade.
“From about 0.64% in 2002it has gone to about 1.65% in 2012. Besides, India has also improved its world ranking in this regard from 37th position in 2002 to 16th rank in 2012,” said DS Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM quoting chamber’s analysis.
“Centre should further push India’s tourism industry as its total contribution to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is about 6.6%, its contribution to the total workforce is about 7.7% and accounts for over 6% of the total investments,” said Rawat.
“Besides, the foreign exchange earned through tourism is critical to combat the rising current account deficit (CAD) and as such the government should look to boost foreign tourist inflow by easing its strict visa regime, entering into an agreement with various countries’ through embassies and high commissions to strengthen tourism cooperation aiming at destination development, promotion, marketing and capacity building.”
The United States of America (USA) commands the highest share of about 16% in the total arrival of foreign tourists across India with over 10 lakh tourists followed by the United Kingdom (UK) (11.9% share) with over seven lakh tourists visiting India from that country.