The tourism ministry has registered over 25 per cent increase in foreign tourist arrivals in the country in April 2017 over the same period last year. According to a statement by the ministry, the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) in India in April 2017 was 7.40 lakh as compared to 5.99 lakh tourists in April, 2016 and 5.42 lakh tourists in April, 2015.
"The growth rate in FTAs in April, 2017 is 23.5 per cent compared to 10.7 per cent in April, 2016," the statement said. Tourists from Bangladesh (23.07 per cent) and USA (10.65 per cent) were among the top such arrivals in the country, followed by Germany (3.28 per cent), Australia (3.15 per cent), Malaysia (2.98 per cent), China (2.95 per cent) and Sri Lanka (2.85 per cent).
The Delhi airport with almost 30 per cent share of FTAs remained the busiest followed by Mumbai airport (15.48 per cent), Haridaspur land check post (12.88 per cent), Chennai airport (6.56 per cent) and Bengaluru airport (5.67 per cent), it said.
The ministry compiles monthly estimates of FTAs, including those with e-tourist visas on the basis of their nationality and port, courtesy the data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI). The statement said April 2017 also saw a substantial rise in the number of tourists arriving on e-visas. "During the month of April, 2017, a total of 1.14 lakh tourists arrived on e-tourist visas as compared to 0.7 lakh tourists during April 2016, registering a growth of 63.4 per cent," it said.
In fact, even during January- April 2017, a total of 5.82 lakh tourists arrived on e-tourist visas as compared to 3.91 lakh during the same period last year, registering a growth of 48.8 per cent, it said.
Most tourists with e-visas used the Delhi airport (48.6 per cent) as their port of arrival, followed by Mumbai airport (20.4 per cent), Dabolim (Goa) airport (7.2 per cent), Bengaluru airport (5.4 per cent), Chennai airport (5.1 per cent) and Kochi airport (3.2 per cent).