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Foreign tourist arrivals in India will cross pre-pandemic level in 2024

Foreign tourist arrivals in India will cross pre-pandemic level in 2024
New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): Despite Geo-political tensions India's tourism industry braces for a surge of more than 10 percent in inbound tourism this year. Industry experts cite escalating conflicts in the Middle East and shift of foreign tourists from China after the pandemic as key factors propelling India into the spotlight as a preferred destination for travellers worldwide.

Recent tourism data indicates an annual growth of 305.4 percent in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in 2023. In 2023, 9.23 million foreign tourists visited India. Although the FTAs arrival number is still less than the pre-pandemic number of 10.93 million in 2019, experts believe in 2024 we might cross the FTAs arrival number of pre-pandemic days.

"In the last 12 months the inbound tourism has grown, and the hotels have had probably the best year ever in the last 12 months. I think this trend is going to continue at double-digit growth for the next two to three years" said Dipak Diva, MD, Travel Corporation of India at an event 'Tres 2024' on tourism industry by Tres India.

Moreover, the recent orders of Indian airlines to acquire over 1000 aircraft will further boost India's tourism sector by providing enhanced accessibility and connectivity for foreign tourists. In last one-year Air India, Indigo and Akasha have together ordered 1120 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus. Also, the number of airports in India has doubled to 149 in the last ten years, this will boost new tourism destinations in India.

"I believe that from January 2026, Air India is going to be one of the pillars of growth of inbound tourism to India after it signed a deal to acquire 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing" said Diva.

New and untapped tourist destinations are attracting foreign tourist; latest data shows that foreign tourist arrivals in Varanasi have jumped manifold. With the construction of Ram temple, Ayodhya too is attracting foreign tourists.

As the world looks towards Asia for travel opportunities, India stands poised to capitalize on this momentum, leveraging its unique attractions and hospitality to welcome travellers from across the globe.

Deva further added "the other major impact that I think is China, which used to be about 120 million inbound tourist destination, does not have that kind of demand anymore. So that has also resulted in India getting the opportunity to get more tourists".

He also highlighted the unparalleled appeal of India as a tourist destination, attributing the nation's diverse offerings, from rich cultural heritage to pristine beaches and tantalizing cuisine, as driving forces behind its increasing popularity among global travellers.

The government had declared the year 2023 as the Visit India year 2023 in a bid to position India as a 360-degree holistic destination in the major international source markets

Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the overseas Indian Missions participated in major international travel exhibitions like FITUR to promote the industry. And also participated as a partner country for the JATA Tourism Expo, which was held at Tokyo, in October 2023.

By 2028, India's tourism and hospitality industry is projected to generate revenue of over $59 Bn. Additionally, Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) are anticipated to reach 30.5 million by 2028. The foreign exchange earnings in 2023 were USD 28.07 billion.

With expectations running high, industry stakeholders anticipate a transformative period for India's tourism landscape, propelled by strategic investments and a renewed focus on promoting the country's rich cultural tapestry through initiatives such as the "Incredible India" campaign.


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