5 June :Kum. Selja, the Union Minister of Housing, Poverty Alleviation & Tourism is very optimistic about a quick revival in tourism, seeing the trends in foreign tourist arrivals to the country during the last couple of months.After a decline in foreign tourist arrivals, ranging between 10.6% and 17.6% during the first three months of the current year, as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year 2008, the month of April saw a decline of only 3.5% as compared to April 2008. Foreign Tourist Arrivals during the month of May 2009 were 295124, which are almost on par with the figure of 300840 Foreign Tourist Arrivals in May 2008, a marginal decline of only 1.9%. Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism were Rs. 3249 crore in May 2009, as compared to Rs. 2988 crore in May 2008, registering an increase of 8.7%.
The Ministry of Tourism has launched the Visit India Year 2009 Scheme in overseas markets with effect from April 2009 till March 2010, whereby attractive incentives are being offered by airlines, hotels and tour operators, to tourists visiting the country during this period. With aggressive promotion of the Scheme being undertaken overseas, the Ministry of Tourism is very hopeful that foreign tourist arrivals will show positive trends very soon and will continue to gain momentum during the rest of the year.