New Delhi: As many as 9.83 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India in January, an increase of 16.5 per cent as compared to the same period last year. According to the Union Tourism Ministry, among the top 15 source countries in the first month of the year, the US had the highest share at 15.01 per cent, followed by Bangladesh at 14.91 per cent, the UK at 11.11 per cent and Canada at 4.63 per cent.
“The number of FTAs (foreign tourist arrivals) in January, 2017 were 9.83 lakh as compared to 8.44 lakh FTAs in January, 2016,” it said in a release.
Since foreign tourists prefer to make plans two-three months prior to the travel date, industry experts believe that the impact of demonetisation, announced on November 8 last year, if any, would not be immediate.
According to the release, of the total arrivals in January, 1.52 lakh tourists availed e-visa facility, an increase of 72 per cent over 0.88 lakh people opting for the online service during the same month last year.
In the e-visa segment, the UK with 22.9 per cent share ranked first among the of 15 top countries availing the facility, followed by the US (13.6 per cent), Russia (8.3 per cent), China (6.3 per cent) and France (5.6 per cent).
The share of tourists availing e-visa in January 2017 is 15.5 per cent as against 10.4 per cent in the January 2016, showing “the steady success of e-visa facility in quantifiable terms”, the release said.
India usually witnesses high tourist arrivals from October till March due to favourable weather conditions.