Foreign tourist arrival on decline in India

Foreign tourist arrival on decline in India

India has witnessed a steady decline in fo­r­eign tourist arrival and fore­ign exchange earnings since 2011.

The growth rate of foreign tourist arrivals declined from 11.8 per cent in 2010 to 9.2 per cent in 2011, 4.3 per cent in 2012 and 2.6 per cent till June 2013.

Consequently, growth rate of foreign exchange earnings (US dollar) declined from 24.6 per cent in 2010 to 16.7 per cent in 2011 and 7.1 per cent in 2012. By 2016, the tourism ministry had set a target to double tourist arrivals in 2011.

A parliamentary standing committee attributed it to the issue of safety of foreign tourists, shortage of skilled manpower, inadequate accommodation, lack of cleanliness in tourist sites, meagre plan outlay, underutilisation of funds by the ministry and lack of efforts to develop tourism by central ministries and stakeholders, including private investors.

In a report tabled in Parliament recently, the panel expressed concern over successive decline in the growth rates and asked the government to take effective and expeditious measures to address the issue.

In a bid to enhance safety and security of tourists, the Ministry of Tourism had proposed to set up “tourist police” at prominent spots. Only 13 states and Union Territories have so far acted on it.

The tourist police have so far been deployed in “one or other forms” in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

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