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Tourism ministry wants greater foreign visitors

Given the drop in the number of foreign visitors in the country owing to the slowdown in 2018, the Ministry of Tourism has submitted a plan to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to draw more overseas visitors to India. According to data, there was a 1.9% yoy growth in tourist arrivals YoY until April’19, rising to 3.93 million. This is a pretty dismal performance when compared to 2018 when tourist arrivals rose 5.2% to 10.5 million, and 2017 when there was a 14% growth. This drop has been attributed to domestic factors like Kerala floods, high GST (28%) on luxury hotels & Pulwama attacks.

Some of the other measures that have been undertaken to rectify the situation include plans to plans to develop 17 sites to attract visitors. These include the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh); Ajanta and Ellora (Maharashtra); Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar (Delhi); Hampi (Karnataka); Somnath and Dholavira (Gujarat); Amer Fort (Rajasthan) and Colva beach (Goa).