Tourist arrivals to India dip by over 17 percentFebruary 17th, 2009 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Tourist arrivals to India were down by more than 17 percent in January due to the global economic crisis, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni told the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.
Soni said there was a decline in foreign tourist arrivals to the country in the months of December 2008 and January 2009.
In December 2008, about 521,990 tourists came to India - a 12.5 percent decline compared to December 2007. In January this year, 487,262 travellers came to India, which was 17.6 percent decline compared to the same month of 2008.
“Though the growth rate in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2008 over 2007 was lower (5.6 percent) as compared to that of 14.3 percent in 2007 over 2006, the total number of FTAs in 2008 was 5.37 million which is higher than the FTAs of 5.08 million in 2007,” she said.
The lower growth rate in 2008, particularly in November and December, may be due to various reasons including the global financial meltdown and terrorist activities, she added.
She said her ministry has taken various steps to minimise the negative impact of the recent terrorist attacks in the country.
She said all states were requested to beef up security measures in hotels and at tourist sites.
Also, the India tourism offices abroad are in regular contact with the international media and travel trade to keep them updated on the ground situation in the country.
The ministry also invited leading trade and media personalities for familiarisation tours to India, especially to Mumbai, which was attacked by terrorists Nov 26.