Due to restrictions related to Covid -19 pandemic, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in India during 2021 decreased to 1.52 million, an over 44 per cent fall from the corresponding figures in 2020, according to a report released by the Union Tourism Ministry on Tuesday.
As per the report titled India Tourism Statistics 2022 released by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on World Tourism Day at an event here, Taj Mahal in Agra was among the 10 most popular centrally-protected ticketed monuments for domestic visitors in 2021-22, while Group of Monument at Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu ranked on top among the 10 most popular centrally-protected ticketed monuments for domestic visitors for the same period.
India's ranking in the global Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) was 54th in 2021, it said.
Dhankhar also presented the main National Tourism Awards 2018-19 at Vigyan Bhawan here during the event. The annual award ceremony took place after a gap of two years due to the Covid outbreak in India in early 2020.
"Due to restriction related to COVID-19, the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India during 2021 decreased to 1.52 million as compared to 2.74 million in 2020, registering a negative growth of 44.5 per cent," the report said.
The Vice President in his address said the last two years were "very tough" due the pandemic and the tourism sector was impacted heavily.
But, in retrospect, one can say that India knows the way, and the country is "out of the difficult period", he said.
The 'India Tourism Statistics 2022' report also said while FTAs experienced a "negative growth rate" in 2021, non-resident Indians (NRIs) and international tourist arrivals (ITAs) experienced "positive growth". Arrivals of NRIs increased by 52.6 per cent from 2020 to 2021. In comparison to 2020, there was a 10.6 per cent increase in yearly international tourist arrivals in India in 2021, it added.
International tourism included both inbound and outbound tourism.
Also, in 2021, the top 15 source markets for FTAs in India were the US, Bangladesh, the UK, Canada, Nepal, Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, Portugal, France, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Russia, Iraq, and the Netherlands. In 2021, the top 15 nations accounted for approximately 80.9 per cent of total FTAs in India, the report stated.
Tourism continues to play an important role as a foreign exchange earner for the country, it said.
In 2021, foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism were USD 8.797 billion as compared to USD 6.959 billion in 2020, registering a positive growth of 26.4 per cent, the report said.
In 2021, tourism grew steadily on a global scale despite the COVID-19 prohibition, it said.
India received 677.63 million domestic tourist visits in 2021, an increase of 11.05 percent from 610.22 million in 2020, the report said.
The two states with the most domestic tourists visiting are Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, with 140.65 million and 86.12 million, respectively. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have the highest numbers of foreign tourist visits, with 1.26 million and 1.23 million, respectively, the report said.
The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), an accounting methodology used by the United Nations to quantify the goods and services related to tourism, is described in this publication, the ministry said.
Travel and tourism created 79.86 million (direct and indirect) jobs and 15.34 per cent of jobs in 2019 2020. In terms of GDP during 2019 2020, tourism contributed 5.19 percent (direct and indirect), the report said.