There has been a decline in the growth of foreign tourist arrivals to India. Growth has slowed down to 2.7 percent in the January-October period in 2019 according to the Economic Survey 2019-2020. The Indian tourism sector is undoubtedly an integral part of the overall growth of the economy. Between 2015-2017, the industry saw significant growth in foreign tourist arrivals. Things seem to have slowed down.
The survey elaborated on its findings: “However, foreign tourist arrivals growth (year-on-year) has decelerated since then to 5.2 percent in 2018 and 2.7 percent in January-October 2019.” The report also mentions that this downward trend was not unique to India. Overall growth in international tourist arrivals globally has slowed down from 7.1 percent in 2017 to 5.4 percent in 2018. Due to this, the growth in foreign exchange earnings specifically from the tourism sector has slowed down in 2018 and 2019. Until 2017, there was strong growth.
India’s foreign exchange earnings have also reduced due to this decline
The survey continued: “Foreign exchange earnings totaled USD 24 billion in January-October 2019, with a growth of 2 percent. In 2018, India ranked 22nd in the world in terms of international tourist arrivals, improving from the 26th position in 2017.” Now, India accounts for 1.24 percent of the world’s international tourist arrivals and 5 percent of Asia & Pacific’s international tourist arrivals. Additionally, India ranks 13th in the world and 7fh in Asia & Pacific in terms of earnings from foreign exchange.
The survey also found that visitors from the top 10 countries — Bangladesh, USA, UK, Sri Lanka, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, China, Germany and Russia — accounted for 65 percent of the total foreign tourist arrivals in India. Additionally, the survey showed that among foreign tourists, 62.4% visit India for leisure, holiday and recreation, 16.3 percent for business purposes, and 13.5 percent was Indian diaspora.