Tourism boom to continue, India's earning goes up

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Kolkata, Oct 30 (UNI) Foreign exchange earnings graph is on higher scale following upswing in the tourist traffic to India, a latest figure available with Union Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said.

Around Rs 0.23 million crore has been earned since January, a higher side compared to corresponding months last year.

A comparative data available here said the tourist traffic to India had been raised since opening up of the economy and lifting of restriction to many Himalayan states and strategic areas for alien travellers, said Federation of Hotel&Restaurant Associations of India official.

While foreign visitors to India in past nine months till September 2007, stood at 34,50,343, the figures in the corresponding months of 2006 and 2005 were 30,71,784 and 26,69,610 respectively.

The foreign exchange earnings also went up from Rs 0.17 million crore in 2005 and Rs 0.20 million crore in 2006 to Rs 0.23 million crore in the first nine months of corresponding years.

FHRAI's new president Dinesh Khanna, at the end of its 3-day annual convention, said India was looking for ten million visitors as the country had become most talked about tour in the world.

He said the Centre and state governments should also create infrastructures, particularly road and air connectivity facilites and single window facility for travellers across the country.

He said India still needed more than 1,00,000 new rooms for budget tourists to attract both domestic and foreign visitors to allow the tourism boom.

Mr Khanna said some 30 to 40 million Indians go abroad during vacation every year, resulting heavy loss in foreign exchange due to increasing cost of travelling in the country for different tax regime.

Former President F H RAI Rajesh Misra said the policy makers must realise that if tax structure was not lowered and Public Private Partnership immediately devised in the hospitality industry, the tourism boom could not be harnessed properly.

UNI

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