x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Staycations in India give tourism market a big boost

India received 6.9 million foreign visitors last year, according to its Ministry of Tourism, but the domestic travel market is far more significant.

A total of 6.29 million international tourists visited India last year, according to figures from India's ministry of tourism.

This represented a growth of 8.9 per cent over the previous year, the data showed.

Foreign exchange earnings were up 19.6 per cent last year to reach 775.91 billion rupees (Dh55.64bn).

Its biggest feeder markets include the United Kingdom, the United States and Sri Lanka.

The figures are compiled from monthly estimates based on data received from India's major airports.

But India's most impressive tourism figures are on the domestic travel market. With a population of more than 1.2 billion, the most recent data available from the tourism ministry shows that the number of domestic tourists reached 740.21 million in 2010, up 18.8 per cent on the previous year.

"The emerging middle-class, rising purchasing power and increased awareness will continue to ensure the growth of tourism," analysts at Euromonitor International said in a report. "The government is continuously focused on improving infrastructure to meet the current and future requirements of the Indian travel and tourism industry.

"It is working on the modernisation of Indian airports and the development of other means of transport, and increasing the supply of rooms."

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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