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FTAs To India Down 25% In Previous 3 Months Due To Security Concerns Survey  
01 April 2013

Mumbai: Foreign tourist inflows to India have registered a significant drop of 25 per cent in the first three months of this year in the wake of rape incidents reported in India, according to a survey undertaken by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF). ASSOCHAM surveyed 1,200 tour operators from different cities. The reasons for the drop in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) are safety and security issues and the global economic slowdown. Releasing the survey on ‘Trends in tourist inflow in the last three months’, D S Rawat, Secretary-General, ASSOCHAM, said, “The industry has primarily been impacted due to deteriorating standards of safety and security. Inbound foreign tourists have opted for other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. The situation has been further aggravated by advisories issued by various countries to their citizens visiting India to be cautious and avoid India.”

The survey further highlights that from December 2012 onwards, the inflow of women foreign tourists to the country has gone down by 35 per cent, and overall, tourism was affected to the extent of 25 per cent.

Rawat said last year over six lakh tourists had visited various tourist destinations such as Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, the Kashmir Valley, Goa, Mysore and Thiruvananthapuram in winter. But this season, there was a substantial fall in tourist arrivals compared with last year.

The survey found that the tourism industry has suffered the most in the Delhi-NCR region, followed by other Tier-II and III cities such as Goa, Agra and Jaipur. “The government is making tourism a lead industry because of its immense potential for higher revenue realisation and its foreign exchange earning potential in view of the difficult current account deficit facing the country,” said Rawat.

Nearly 72 per cent of tour operators said there have been a number of cancellations of bookings, especially from women foreign tourists in the last three months, mainly from the UK, the US, Canada and Australia.

According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in 2012 about 6.6 million international tourists visited India and the country earned USD 17.74 billion. The Ministry has set the goal of increasing foreign tourist arrivals by 12 per cent a year so as to double foreign exchange earnings by 2016.