Recently, Vice-President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankar, released the Indian Tourism Statistics 2022 report. The Vice-President also gave away the National Tourism Awards for 2018-19 with Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Telangana getting the top three places, respectively. The awards were given after a gap of two years due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Foreign Tourists –
- In 2020, 2.74 million foreign tourists had visited India. In 2021, the number came down to 1.52 million.
- In 2021, the top 15 countries from which foreign tourists arrived in India included – the U.S., the U.K., Bangladesh, Canada, Nepal, Afghanistan and Australia.
- However, the arrival of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) has increased by 52.6% in 2021 as compared to 2020.
- Contribution to foreign exchange earnings –
- The statistics further show that tourism continues to be an important foreign exchange earner for the country.
- In 2021, foreign exchange earnings from tourism amounted to $8.797 billion as compared to $6.959 billion in 2020.
- Domestic Tourists – While in 2020, the number of domestic tourists was 610 million, in 2021 it was 677 million.
- Indians departing from India –
- Interestingly, the number of Indian nationals departing the country saw a rise in 2021 as compared to 2020.
- In 2021, 8.55 million Indian nationals departed the country as compared to 7.29 million in 2020.
- The UAE was the top destination for Indians in 2021, followed by the U.S., Qatar, Oman and the U.K.
About the National Tourism Awards –
- The Ministry of Tourism organises the National Tourism awards.
- A total of 81 awards were given away this year highlighting the achievements of the tourism industry in 2018-19.
- The awards are presented to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, including State Governments in recognition of their performance in their respective fields.
Major scheme for tourism promotion in India –
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme –
- Launched in 2014-15, the scheme aims to promote theme-based tourist circuits to harness the potential of tourism in India.
- 15 thematic circuits have been identified under the Swadesh Darshan for development. Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, North East Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Wildlife Circuit
- Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance to State Governments, Union Territory Administrations for the infrastructure development of circuits.
- This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation.
- Prashad Scheme –
- Prashad is an acronym for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spirituality Augmentation Drive.
- The scheme was launched in 2015 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.