The Union Ministry of Tourism released a report on Tuesday which revealed that Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of foreign tourist visits with 1.26 million and 1.23 million respectively in 2021. The report was released by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on the occasion of World Tourism Day. at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
In the report, the Tamil Nadu Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram was the most popular ticket-protected monument for domestic visitors over the past year. Agra’s Taj Mahal was also among the top ten on the list.
The report also said the number of foreign tourist arrivals in 2021 fell to 1.52 million – down nearly 44% from 2020 – citing Covid-19 related restrictions.
“Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) in India in 2021 fell to 1.52 million from 2.74 million in 2020, registering a negative growth of 44.5% “, says the report.
India ranked 54th in the Global Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) in 2021. During the event, Dhankar also presented the National Tourism Awards 2018-19. The annual ceremony had been suspended due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
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In his address, the Vice President spoke of the challenges for the tourism industry that have emerged due to Covid-19 and said the past two years have been “very difficult”. But, in retrospect, one can say that India knows the way, and that the country has “came out of the difficult period”, he said.
The India Tourism Statistics 2022 report also states that Non-Resident Indian (NRI) arrivals increased by 52.6% from 2020 to 2021. The United States, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Canada and the Nepal were among the top sources of FTAs which accounted for about 80.9% of total foreign tourist arrivals, according to the report.
In the domestic tourism chart, 677.63 million tourist visits were recorded in 2021, with Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh being the two top destinations. With a contribution of around 5% to GDP, the sector has created around 79.86 million jobs (direct and indirect) in the country, the report adds.
(With PTI entries)