International tourism in India - statistics & facts

From snowy mountains to sandy beaches, hilly terrains to serene lands, old ruins immersed in history to modern architecture, and national parks to bustling cities - India has something to offer for every kind of traveler. The cultural and geographical diversity of the country has made the Indian tourism sector one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP and one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide.

Economic importance of tourism

The country’s GDP benefitted from both foreign tourist arrivals as well as a rise in foreign exchange earnings. Over the years, tourism also saw an increase in budget allocation from the union government and a rise in the number of registered employees. The sector also contributed to infrastructure development as more hotels and recreational centers came up in old and new tourist destinations across the country.

For Europeans, South Asia is among popular travel destinations. It came as no surprise that the first wave of traveling activities developed in the late 19th century. From that time on, international tourism evolved in waves, another occurring after The Beatles visited Rishikesh in 1968. Along with the economic developments in many Asian countries from the 1990s onwards, the number of tourists from these countries grew as well. Most tourists to India came from Bangladesh, United States, and parts of Europe. On the other hand, the number of Indians traveling abroad quadrupled since 2000.

International travelers and the recovering from COVID-19 impact

In recent years, the importance of leisure travel for the industries in India’s tourism sector grew exponentially in comparison to business travel. Additionally, the domestic tourism market was much stronger than the international market. This had implications for many other areas as well, from infrastructure spending in tourist hubs, an increase in wellness offerings, to the regulation of travel agencies and tour operators. Those specialists concentrated on dense tours showing the tourist as much of the country as possible. The most popular duration of stay for international tourists was one to two weeks. With decreasing travel restrictions, fully operational international flights, and growing traveler confidence, India was expected to see a rise in international traffic in 2022. Additionally, overall travel demand in the country for 2022 was estimated to surpass pre-COVID numbers.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "International tourism in India".

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