Kolkata: In spite of foreign tourist inflow adversely hit in aftermath of 26/11 terror attacks and economic slowdown, the foreign exchange earning from the sector has witnessed a 3% increase this year, Union minister of state for tourism Sultan Ahmed has said.
Foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) declined since November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and was further affected by the economic downturn. Despite the fall, foreign exchange earning for the period January to September this year was Rs37,589 crore as against Rs36,464 crore in previous year during the same period, Ahmed told PTI.
The minister said the slump in the tourism sector is showing a reversal in the trend.
The FTA during September, 2009 was 3.17 lakh, which is 4.1% less compared to 3.31 lakh during the corresponding month of 2008. Also, the total FTA between January to September 2009 was 35.75 lakh as against 38.71 lakh during the same period in 2008, he said.
“However, an improvement has been observed in recent months,” the minister said.
Ahmed said the Centre is concentrating on niche tourism products which included Heliport Tourism aimed at promoting tourism in hilly and remote areas.