Foreign tourist arrivals during the January-July period grew by 10 per cent to 49.22 lakh on account of initiatives taken by the government including e-tourist visas.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) also said that
FDI equity inflow increased by 72 per cent in 2015-16.
“Foreign tourist arrivals during the period January-July, 2016 grew by 10 per cent for comparable time periods in 2015. The country witnessed a 11.63 per cent growth in the number of domestic tourist visits,” it said.
Foreign exchange earnings from tourism (in rupee terms), which grew by 9.5 per cent in 2015, jumped 15 per cent in 2016 for comparable periods (January-July), the DIPP’s achievements report of the sector said. The sector is one of the thrust segment under the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
It said the government has undertaken various initiatives through policy interventions and by enabling infrastructure development to make ‘Incredible India’ a “must revisit, must experience” destination.
As a result of the initiatives, the sector has registered a phenomenal growth in domestic tourism, foreign tourist arrivals, foreign exchange earnings and employment opportunities, it added.
Listing out major initiatives undertaken in tourism and hospitality sector, it said visa process for citizens of 150 countries have become less cumbersome with e-Tourist visas, the facility which has been made available at 16 key airports.
The percentage shares of top 10 source countries availing this e-visa facilities during June are the US, the UK, China, Australia and France.
“There has been a 218.9 per cent growth in tourists arrival on e-tourist visa in June… During January-July, a total of 5.4 lakh tourists arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 1.47 lakh during January-July 2015,” it said adding at present on an average 3,500 such visas are being granted daily to foreign nationals.
Number of foreign travelers for medical treatment have also increased, it said adding 96,856 medical visas were issued during January to June.
About investments, it said in the last two years, tourism and hospitality sector has received $2.10 billion FDI.
It said Samhi Hotels has received a total investment of $126.78 million from leading investors like Goldman Sachs ($65.6 million) and International Finance Corporation ($19.03 million).
The firm will use the money to grow its portfolio to about 30 to 35 properties.
APG Strategic Real Estate has invested in Lemon Tree Hotels; Softbank Group International Ltd has invested $57.54 million in Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, it said.
It also said that Emerald City has invested $29.04 million in TATA Starbucks Ltd; Make My Trip has invested $25.05 million in Make My Trip India Pvt Ltd.