Foreign tourist arrivals up in 2019 despite ruckus over CAA, removal of Article 370


NEW DELHI, Jan 22:

Union Minister of State for culture & tourism (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel released the numbers indicating that more foreigners have arrived in India in last two months of 2019 compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

On the increasing tourist inflow, Patel said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the brand ambassador and therefore the numbers of tourist arrivals have been increased. He said that the tourist arrival at Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, increased 35 per cent after the Prime Minister hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Patel further said that tourist arrivals increased in 2019 despite ruckus over abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, the Supreme Court's decision on Ram temple and the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). According to the Tourism Ministry data, the sector has seen an upward trend at the time when nine nations have issued travel advisory to their citizens.

As per the numbers shared by the Minister,compared to 10,12,569 in November 2018, 10,91,946 foreign tourists arrived inIndia in November 2019, a jump of 7.8%. Similarly, compared to 11,91,498 inDecember 2018, 12,25,672 foreign tourists visited India in December 2019.

The numbers also suggest that the foreign exchange earnings increased in November and December in 2019 compared to the months in 2018. In November 2018, the earnings were Rs 16,584 crores while it was Rs 19,831 crores in 2019. Also, in December 2018, the foreign exchange earnings were Rs 19474 crores which increased to 22,617 crores in December 2019.

According to the tourism ministry data,FTAs grew by 4.3% in September 2019, a month after the abrogation of Article370, as compared to the same period in 2018. Similarly, Forex grew by 11%during the same period.