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Monday, March 16, 2009

Economic slowdown hits Indian tourism industry

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Temperature in Delhi has been slowly rising in last few days and is currently slightly above comfortable range. February normally sees maximum number of tourist because of the pleasant temperature. But this year number of foreign tourist arrival has seen a negative growth. The global economic slowdown, coupled with the Mumbai terror attack had dealt a back breaking blow to the tourism industry.
Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) on the basis of data received from major airports. Following are the important highlights as regards these two important indicators of tourism sector.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):
· FTAs during the year 2008 were 5.37 million as compared to FTAs of 5.08 million during the year 2007. Therefore, in spite of global financial meltdown and terrorist activities, number of FTAs has increased in 2008 as compared to 2007. UNWTO has predicted a growth rate of 2-3% for international tourist arrivals in the world during 2008. Therefore, Indian Scenario (growth rate of 5.6%) is much better than world scenario.
· The number of FTAs in December 2008 has risen to 5.22 lakhs as compared to 5.21 lakhs in November 2008.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from Tourism in Indian rupee terms and US $ terms :
· FEE during the year 2008 were Rs. 50730 crore as compared to Rs. 44360 crore in 2007.
· FEE in US $ terms during for the year 2008 were US $ 11747 million as compared to FEE of US $ 10729 during 2007. The lower growth rate in 2008 as compared to 2007 may be mainly due to lower growth rate of FTAs in 2008 as compared to 2007 and exchange rate variation.
· FEE from tourism in December 2008 were Rs. 5083 crore as compared to Rs. 4935 crore in November 2008 and Rs. 5079 crore in December 2007.
· FEE in US $ terms during the year 2008 were US $ 1046 million as compared to US $ 1005 million in November 2008 and US $ 1287 million in December 2007. The decline in the FEE in US $ term during December 2008 vis-à-vis December 2007 is mainly due to the foreign exchange variations in these months.
[Source: Ministry of Tourism & TOI]

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