Foreign tourists continue to flock India in January 2015

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Foreign tourists continue to flock India in January 2015
India continues to be thronged by foreign tourists every month and this was no different in the first month of the New Year. According to the latest statistics by the Ministry of Tourism, India recorded 7.90 lakh foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in January 2015 over 7.59 lakh and 7.20 lakh in January 2014 and January 2013 respectively.

“There has been a growth of 4% in January 2015 over January 2014,” stated a report by the ministry.

While the US and UK continued to be one of the top source countries for India , Bangladesh too ranked high on the list. “…The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2015 among the top 15 source countries was highest from USA (16.3%) followed by UK (11.8%), Bangladesh (9.2%), Canada (4.7%), Australia (3.6%), Russian Federation (3.5%), France (3.1%), Germany (3.1%), Sri Lanka (2.9%), Malaysia (2.9%), Japan (2.6%), China (2.3%), Republic of Korea (1.8%), Afghanistan (1.7%) and Oman (1.5%),” stated the report.
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In terms of Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism, India earned Rs11,529 crore in the last month as compared to Rs11,082 crore in January 2014 and Rs10,785 crore in the corresponding period in 2013.

The country also registered a growth rate of 4% in FEEs in terms of rupee during January 2015 over January 2014 over 2.8% in January 2014 over January 2013. “The FEEs in US$ terms during the month of January 2015 were US$ 1.854 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.786 billion during the month of January 2014,” noted the ministry.

Industry players have attributed the rising trend to the fact that foreign tourists prefer visiting the country in the month of January because of its tropical climate or mild winter as compared to that in the West. “There is often a surge in the FTAs during this time as tourists are on long vacations following the New year,” said a tour operator who requested anonymity.
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However, he added that most of the FTA would not have converted into any monetary benefits especially for the hotel industry since a large portion of these FTAs include NRIs. “Indians living abroad often stay at their home instead of hotels. They comprise a considerable chunk of the FTA recorded by the country”, the operator noted.