Hyderabad: The newest state in the country has to up its tourism game. In terms of foreign tourists’ visit to the state, the margin is quite large between Telangana and other southern states.
Among the Southern states, Tamil Nadu witnessed the highest number of foreign tourists’ for 2018. Tamil Nadu also ranks first for the most number of foreign tourists, among the whole country. Over 60.7 lakh foreign tourists visited TN in the last year alone, which is six times more than its South-Indian competitor — Kerala. The latter recorded around 10.9 lakh foreign visitors last year, followed by Karnataka with 5.4 lakh foreign tourists.
Telangana fares better than Andhra in terms of foreign tourists. While the new state had around 3.1 lakh foreign visitors for 2018, Andhra Pradesh saw only 2.8 lakh foreign visitors for the same year. Besides, the number of foreign tourists’ visits to Telangana has been on a steady rise over the years since 2014. Against the figures in 2017, the number of foreign tourists in Telangana increased by 21% in 2018.
After Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra witnessed the most number of foreign tourists with around 50 lakh, followed by Uttar Pradesh with about 37 lakh visitors.
The data was put forward by the Ministry of Tourism in the Lok Sabha, responding to a question asked on foreign tourist arrivals in the country.
Bangladesh registered the most number of foreign tourists with 22.5 lakh in 2018, followed by the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The USA recorded 14.5 lakh tourists while 10.2 lakh tourists arrived from the UK. Interestingly, in 2019, for April, Bangladesh contributed the most number of its tourists (25.28%, followed by the UK (10.79%), and the United States of America (10.52%).
The estimated Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) through tourism has also increased by 19% in 2018 compared to 2016. While in 2016, the FEE through tourism was $22.9 billion, in 2018, it has grown to $28.5 billion.
The number of tourists who have visited India by availing e-tourist visa has also increased. Between January and April in 2019, 11 lakh tourists have arrived on e-tourist visa as compared to 9.18 lakh during January-April 2018, registering a growth of 20.7%.