10 Oct ; Tourism sector in India continues to witness encouraging trends despite the fears of global economic slow down. The foreign tourist arrivals to India have touched 3.87 millions by September 2008, which is an increase of 10.4% over corresponding period of previous year. While the percentage increase in foreign tourist arrivals of 2007 over 2006 for the month of September was only 1.3%, the increase in 2008 has been as high of 9.6%.
The foreign exchange earnings to India in tourism sector in rupee terms has touched 36,464 crores by September, which is a 17.8% increase over previous year for the corresponding period while the increase in 2007 over 2006 for the same period was 13.7%. Interestingly in September 2007, there was a negative growth of foreign exchange earnings over 2006. However, the trend has been reversed and there has been 21.2% increase in FE earnings in September 2008 as compared to 2007.
India continues to be a long duration and high spending destination for foreign travelers. This is quite evident from the statistics received through the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which indicate that the foreign exchange earnings per foreign traveler coming to India has been US $ 2112 in the year 2007, which is more than twice the foreign exchange earned per foreign traveler worldwide (which is US $ 948) as well as Asia Pacific (which is US$ 1027). In fact, most of the major Asian countries like China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand much less foreign exchange earned per foreign traveler as compared to India.
The resilience of Indian tourism sector is also evident from the fact that while the growth rate of foreign tourist arrivals worldwide has been 5% in 2008 and the average growth rate of Asia Pacific has been 6.9%, the foreign tourist arrivals to India have grown at a rate well above 10%.