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Foreign Tourists Return to India

Despite the economic slowdown and fears of a global pandemic due to Swine Flu, the domestic tourism industry is cruising along well with foreign tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings from tourism, showing positive trends in July 2009.

According to ministry of tourism data, 432,000 foreign tourists arrived in India last month compared to 429,000 in July last year. Even on month-on-month basis, there has been a surge in numbers from June to July 2009 with the 341,000 foreign tourists increasing by 91,000 in July, reports TOI.

Some in the industry attribute the increase to a rise in number of NRIs returning home during the holiday season in the west.

"Foreign tourist arrivals has gone up because of the increase in the number of ethnic travellers coming to the country. It is the holiday season abroad, so more NRIs would be opting to come back at this time," said Madhavan Menon, managing director, Thomas Cook.

Foreign exchange earnings from tourism (in rupees) too has witnessed an increase. The FEE during July 2009 was Rs 4,983 crore compared to Rs 3,870 crore in July 2008. An improvement was observed in growth rate of FEE in July 2009 (28.8%) as well when compared to June 2009 (11.5%) when earnings were at Rs 3,801 crore.

"The rupee has depreciated since the same period last year, so there is an increase in foreign exchange earnings," Menon said.

If you have been sitting on the fence wondering whether to make a visit for wine promotion or simply a touristic visit, time is now-the room tariffs are low, the availability is much better and the importers and hotel personnel will be able to give you more time and attention.

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