New Delhi: There has been a significant drop of up to 74.9% in the number of foreign tourists who had visited the country last year. In 2019, about 1.09 crore foreigners had flown to India. However, it nosedived to 27.4 lakh, in 2022, due to various reasons including Covid 19. The details of this has been included in the ‘India Tourism Statistics – 2021’ report that was published by the central government in connection with the World Tourism Day celebrations.
The report says that the country had earned up to Rs 50136 crores worth of foreign exchange from the tourism sector last year. In 2019, it was Rs 2.11 billion. In April, last year, when the country was under lockdown, there were 2820 foreign arrivals. Meanwhile, about 72.9 lakh Indians travelled to foreign countries in 2020. It was 2.62 crore in 2019.
Interestingly, the most number of foreign tourists had come from Bangladesh last year, followed by the US, UK, Canada, Russia and Australia. Around 5,49,273 (20.01%) visitors had come to India from the neighbouring country.
Kerala on 8th spot
Kerala ranks eighth among the states that welcomed most number of foreign tourists. About 3.4 lakh foreign tourists had visited Kerala last year. With 12.62 lakh visitors, Maharashtra grabbed the first position followed by Tamil Nadu (12.28 lakh) and Uttar Pradesh (8.9 lakh) respectively. Meanwhile, the numbers show that domestic tourists do not prefer Kerala as a tourist destination. Kerala doesn’t feature in the first ten spots in this list. Tamil Nadu tops this list with 14.06 crore domestic tourists, closely followed by Uttar Pradesh (8.61 crore) and Karnataka (7.74 crore).
Kerala might not have fared well in the list of states that received the most number of tourists, but Cochin International Airport has been included in the top three airports in the country used by Indians to travel abroad. The airports at Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram too are featured in the top 10 list. Last year, 5,92,351 Indians had used the Cochin International Airport to travel abroad. It amounts to 8.1% of the total passengers.
Meanwhile, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi was the busiest in terms of international passengers, with over 17.89 boarding. It is followed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai with 12.66 lakh passengers. Kozhikode airport bagged the fifth position (4.57 lakh) behind Chennai. Meanwhile, Trivandrum International Airport (2,07,163 passengers) is on the eighth spot behind Hyderabad and Bengaluru.