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Foreign tourist arrivals double in the first half of 2023

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in the first half of CY23 have gone up by 106 per cent, only 17 per cent short of pre-Covid levels. This means that inbound tourism is inching close to pre-Covid levels. Experts believe that this year, FTAs will return to pre-Covid levels.

Yet, foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) are 46 per cent higher compared to last year and 12 per cent higher than pre-Covid levels, according to data from the Tourism Ministry.

FTAs during January-June 2023 were 43,80,239 as compared to 21,24,118 in January-June 2022 and 52,96,025 in January-June, 2019 registering a growth of 106.2 per cent and -17.3 per cent with respect to 2022 and 2019, respectively.

According to the data, majority of the travellers came from Bangladesh which took 23.5 per cent of the pie, followed by travellers from the United States at 18.1 per cent, 9.2 per cent travellers from the UK, 4.4 per cent from Canada and 4.2 per cent from Australia.

Over 46.51 per cent of the travellers from these countries visited India for leisure holiday and recreational activities and about 25 per cent was the Indian diaspora. Business and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) was over 11 per cent and medical tourism was 6.5 per cent.

With India hosting the G20 summit this year, the country has not only seen an influx in travellers visiting India but has also brought thousands of delegates from across the globe.

‘Bleisure’ trips are a trend in 2023, where delegates can be seen extending their business trips for leisure purposes. This will also provide more opportunities to the hospitality industry.

The FEEs during June 2023 were INR 18,737 crore compared to INR 12,766 crore in June 2022 and INR 16,592 crore in June, 2019 registering a growth of 46.78 per cent and 12.93 per cent with respect to 2022 and 2019 respectively.

Tourism Ministry’s data showed that over 41.8 per cent of the inbound travellers were women. RateGain’s Adara data reflects an intriguing trend emerging as solo travellers dominate the booking landscape, underlining the preponderance of business-related visits. The surge in solo bookings suggests that most travellers are visiting Delhi for business purposes. (Source The Business Line)

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