2017 was one hell of a year for Indian tourism sector as the counts of foreign tourists arriving to India boomed and crossed the massive benchmark of 10 million in a year, pumping in over 27 billion dollars to the country’s earnings! Incredible India, or what!
A country of vast diversities – be it natural or cultural or social or cuisines or dressings or pretty much everything and anything. With an extremely diverse terrain – from the world’s highest snow-clad Himalayan Ranges and down to the vast Indian Ocean coastlines – from deserts of Kutch and Rajasthan to the mangroves and rainforests of West Bengal and Cherrapunji, India has got it all. The history and culture of India dates back to 5 millennia and it is a fusion of a society ruled by Rajputana royals, Mughal emperors, British governors and modern-day leaders of a free independent land. The country itself is like a set of zillion countries visited all in a single shot – the diversity and the vividness is what makes India, incredible India.
The incredibility of India is what attracts millions of foreign tourists each year, but 2017 was extra-special for the country’s tourism sector. Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons announced the upbeat numbers and said that Indian tourism sector welcomed 10,177,000 tourists in 2017, reaching new highs by crossing the benchmark of 10 million annually. Hence these tourists brought in total foreign earnings worth 27 million dollars to the country. It was in December when there was a boom of 15.2% and then, the stats surpassed 10 million mark. This year, the e-Tourist visas too became more popular than ever with 1,697,000 users a 52% increase over 2016.
The tourism sector essentially brings in foreign money to India and contributes 6.88 per cent to India’s gross domestic product as well as provides 12% to the total employment of India. It is these splendid stats this year that has helped India to jump up by 25 places from 65 in 2013 to 40 in the Tourism Competitiveness Index, 2017. Tasting a big pie, India now eyes even bigger piece and the Tourism Ministry has some huge plans that will give Indian tourism even a bigger booster in years to come.