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Foreign Tourist Arrival on E-Visas Witness Spontaneous Growth

India: Along with the growth rate, the Ministry of Tourism also quoted that more than 160,000 foreign tourists visited the country on e-tourist visas in December 2016 as compared to 103,617 tourists in November 2016. This improvement can be attributed to the extension of the e-visa facility to 161 countries which was previously extended to 113 countries. 

Demonetization slumped the hopes of tour operators and hoteliers, however, this prompted countries like the UK, Australia, Canada to update their travel advisories for India. This has also severely reduced the travel and tourism activities in India. But the move of demonetization does not seem to impact the growth of tourist arrivals in the country as the foreign tourist footfall increased by a substantial 10.4 per cent from January to November 2016 as compared to 2015.

TechSci Research depicts that the increase in number of tourists through e-visas is an indirect method to track the growth rate of the travel and tourism industry in India. The e-visa figures mainly indicated the number of people shifting from applying visas at an embassy, to online. However, e-visas have helped accelerate the trend of foreign tourism, which is a positive thing as most of the issues related to tourism revolve around security perceptions as opposed to economic issues.

According to a recently published report at TechSci Research, ”India Travel & Tourism Market, By Product/Service Offering, By Type (Domestic, Inbound, etc.), By Purpose of Visit, By Tourist Profile, By Average Duration of Stay, By Mode of Travel, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 – 2021”, the travel and tourism market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of around 7.23% during 2016-2021, on account of increasing trend of medical, wellness and adventure tourism in the country and rising number of online bookings due to growing smartphone and internet penetration. Additionally, Government of India has also been focusing on the launch of several marketing and branding initiatives such as “Incredible India!” and “Athiti Devo Bhava”. This is projected to further propel growth in India travel & tourism market over the course of next five years.

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