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    India is fast gaining popularity as a tourism destination amidst inbound travelers with top markets. In fact, even China is showing interest in visiting here, according to a study. In its ‘2017 Inbound Travel Study’, TripAdvisor disclosed that international travel interest into India is on the rise. According to the findings, travelers from China were the largest group indicating an year-over-year interest where Indian destinations were concerned.

    “It’s encouraging that we are seeing growth not just from Asian countries but from long-haul inbound markets, underscoring India’s attractiveness as a destination globally. The data shows that travelers are also keen to explore places that are not usual for the international market, and they are looking for a wide variety of experiences on their visit which bodes well for our tourism industry,” said Mr. Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager at TripAdvisor India.

    The data showed that:

    • More and more travelers are writing reviews, eat as well as see in India
    • Most of these reviews are positive!
    • In 2017, India received a record high of more than 10 million (over 1 crore) Foreign Tourist Arrivals (15.2% increase in FTAs)
    • This has brought an earning of over $27 billion
    • Foreign exchange earnings went up by 20.2%
    • The tourism sector is now contributing 6.88% to India’s total GDP
    • It has also boosted employment rate in India by 12.36%
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    On examining TripAdvisor site data to find which markets had the largest increases in share of online traffic between October 2015 and September 2016 as compared to that between October 2016 and September 2017, it was found that Asian countries account for 6 of the top 10 markets exhibiting an increase in the share of visitor sessions looking at Indian destinations.

    The country-wise year-on-year growth in interest (in percentages) for Indian destinations is as follows:

    • China – 134%
    • Bangladesh – 60%
    • Singapore – 57%
    • Thailand – 20%
    • Japan – 16%
    • Malaysia – 12%

    That’s not all. The increase in interest from long-haul markets signal even healthier inbound travel trends for India. These destinations include:

    • Netherlands – 10%
    • Canada – 10%
    • Russia – 9%
    • United Kingdom – 9%
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    And when it comes to the top Indian states that are seeing the highest growth, Andaman and Nicobar Islands seemed to have won international travelers’ hearts. Andaman topped the list with a 25.1%, followed by Bihar at 12.3%, Arunachal Pradesh at 9.1%, Kerala at 7.4%, and Mizoram at 6.8%, among others.

    As India is adding more feathers to its hat, it’s upon us to help maintain it as a flourishing tourist destination. The world’s eyes are on us and there couldn’t have been a better time to improve our standards of living and attitude towards cleanliness and hygiene.

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