Nearly 7 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India in Nov

Tm

Foreign tourist arrivals in the country has registered a mere three per cent increase during the month of November over the same period last year.

There were 6.90 lakh foreign visitors in November as compared to 6.70 lakh during the same month last year.

However, foreign exchange earnings from tourism during the same period showed an increase of 22.4 per cent. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism in November stood at Rs 9,723 crore as compared to last year's revenue of Rs 7,941 crore.

Addressing the concern of the travel industry, government has recently relaxed its tourist visa rules by lifting restrictions imposed on foreign visitors to have a two-month cooling off period between two visits.

The latest move is likely to breathe fresh life into the tourism industry and comes just ahead of the peak tourist season. India's share of international tourist arrivals in 2011 was a mere 0.64 per cent.

We are expecting good results in the coming months due to the visa relaxation, a senior Tourism Ministry official said.

The Ministry has set a target for increasing India's share in world tourist arrivals from the current 0.6 per cent to 1 per cent by the end of the 12th Plan period and the relaxation in the visa regime would contribute to a large extent in achieving this target, the official said.

A total of 58.99 lakh foreign tourists visited India during the January-November period this year as against 55.72 lakh in the corresponding period last year, a growth of 5.9 per cent.

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