New Delhi: Tourism industry has started feeling the pinch of global slowdown with the number of foreign tourists arriving in India showing a significant decline this year.
The number of tourists visiting the country touched 4,71,627 in March this year as against 5,41,478 in March 2008, which is 69,851 less than the corresponding period last year.
The decrease in March this year is due to the global slowdown, a senior tourism ministry official.
However, the official said, there is no let up on our part to showcase our tourist destinations abroad to attract visitors.
Tourism ministry has launched a series of road shows abroad in association with tour operators to woo tourists.
“While roadshows are already being held in Singapore, Australia, Ireland, Malyasia and the UK, more such shows are being planned in Japan, Korea, Mexico,” said Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) president Vijay Thakur.
“We will launch a month-long Incredible India campaign in different cities of the US and Canada including Boston, Los Angeles, California, San Francisco and Toronto in May,” added Thakur.
Despite the concerted efforts put in by the government to woo tourists, the number of foreign tourist arrival has further dipped in the month of March.
While 4,87,262 tourists had come to India in January, there were 5,91,337 foreign visitors in the corresponding month last year. Their number increased to 5,01,885 in February as against 5,61,393 in February 2008.
The fall in tourist arrival has affected the foreign exchange earnings also.
While the forex earnings stood at Rs4,437 crores in March this year, it was Rs5,035 crores in March 2008, a decrease of 11.9%.
Tourism ministry has offered a series of incentives to attract foreign visitors as part of Visit India 2009 scheme.
According to the scheme, one additional or complimentary service is offered for every service paid by the tourist in collaboration with airlines, hotels and tour operators.
The offer include complimentary air passage for travelling companion, one night free stay in the hotel booked by the tourist and one complimentary local sight seeing tour among others.
There is also on the offer of one complimentary stay at any of the 15 rural holiday sites selected across the country as part of the promotion of rural tourism, said the official.