“India’s foreign exchange earnings in tourism may reach US $26 bn by 2015”

Foreign tourists’ arrival in India to cross 80 lakh mark by 2015
Breaking Tourism News ONLINE (BTN India)
Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 13 per cent, India’s foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector are likely to reach US $26 billion (bn) in 2015 from the current level of about $20 bn.
“Growing at a CAGR of about seven per cent, the arrival of foreign tourists in India is likely to cross 80 lakh mark by 2015 from the current level of about 70 lakh,” according to an analysis of international tourist receipts and foreign tourist arrival in India conducted by ASSOCHAM.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Rajasthan are top five destinations attracting maximum number of foreign tourists and collectively account for 70 per cent of the total number of foreign tourists visiting India. Maharashtra tops with maximum share of about 25 per cent, followed by Tamil Nadu (17 per cent), Delhi (11 per cent), UP (10 per cent) and Rajasthan (seven per cent), according to the analysis carried out by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB).
“Making significant strides in the tourism sector, India has improved its share in international tourism receipts during the course of past decade i.e. from about 0.64 per cent in 2002 to about 1.65 per cent in 2012, besides India has also improved its world ranking in this regard from 37th position in 2002 to 16th rank in 2012,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the chamber’s analysis.
“Centre should further push India’s tourism industry as its total contribution to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is about 6.6 per cent, its contribution to the total workforce is about 7.7 per cent and accounts for over six per cent of the total investments,” said Mr Rawat. “Besides, the foreign exchange earned through tourism is critical to combat the rising current account deficit (CAD) and as such the government should look to boost foreign tourist inflow by easing its strict visa regime, entering into an agreement with various countries’ through embassies and high commissions to strengthen tourism cooperation aiming at destination development, promotion, marketing and capacity building.”
“Importance of tourism as one of the major foreign exchange earner can also be gauged from the fact that during 2012, with over US $17 bn earnings tourism emerged as India’s fourth biggest foreign exchange earner after India’s principal exports of petroleum (US $60.8 bn), gems and jewellery (US $43.3 bn) and transport equipments (US $18.3 bn),” added Mr Rawat.
While globally, the international tourism receipts grew from about US $482 bn in 2002 to US $1,075 bn in 2012, the international tourism receipts in Asia-Pacific region grew from about US $96.5 bn to about US $323 bn and in India it increased from a level of about US $3.1 bn to over US $17.7 bn.
“Thus in terms of growth in international tourism receipts, India has clocked a CAGR of 12.9 per cent which is higher as compared to 9.5 per cent at Asia-Pacific level and 6.1 per cent globally,” highlighted the ASSOCHAM analysis.
In terms of the India’s share in the tourism receipts in the Asia-Pacific region, India has increased its share from 3.2 per cent in 2002 to about 5.5 per cent in 2012 and India has also improved its ranking from 13th to 7th in this regard.
Foreign tourist arrivals in India has been growing at a CAGR of about seven per cent which is higher than rate of tourist arrivals across world over which has been growing at about 3.8 per cent and overseas tourism in Asia-Pacific region that has been growing at about 6.6 per cent.
“But India’s share in foreign tourist arrivals has increased marginally during the last ten years i.e. from 0.34 per cent in 2002 to about 0.64 per cent in 2012 and India’s rank has also improved from 54th to 41st in this regard,” said Mr Rawat. “In terms of the Asia-Pacific region, India’s share has increased from about 1.9 per cent to about 2.8 per cent during 2002-2012 but there has not been much of change in India’s rank which has improved by just one spot i.e. from 12th rank to 11th rank during the aforesaid period.”
The international tourist arrivals has increased from over 703 million (mn) in 2002 to about 1,035 mn in 2012, while at the Asia-Pacific level the tourist arrivals increased from over 123 mn to about 234 mn and in India the foreign tourist arrival grew from over 23 lakh to over 65 lakh during this period.
The United States of America (USA) commands the highest share of about 16 per cent in the total arrival of foreign tourists across India with over 10 lakh tourists followed by the United Kingdom (UK) (11.9 per cent share) with over seven lakh tourists visiting India from that country. Bangladesh (seven per cent share), Sri Lanka (4.5 per cent share) and Canada (3.8 per cent share) are amid top five countries with maximum foreign tourist arrivals in India.

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