New Delhi, Apr 15: Foreign tourist arrival FTAs in India in 2008 is expected to be 5.57 million, presuming that the growth rate in FTA observed in 2007 over 2006 remains the same in 2008.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said efforts are being made to encourage tourist inflow including integrated development of tourist infrastructure at tourist circuits and growth of hotel infrastructure. ''The other measures include augmentation of air capacity, enhancing availability of skilled manpower, according greater focus in emerging markets particularly in the China, North-East Asia and South East Asia and international publicity campaign through the electronic and print media,'' she added.
She said the FTA has increased from 2.38 million in 2002 to about 5 million in 2007.
Quoting the latest United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) figures, she said there were about 7.59 million international tourist arrivals in Singapore in 2006 as compared to 4.45 million FTA in India.
''With foreign tourist arrival of 4.45 million in 2006, India ranked 42nd in the world. France is leading the UNWTO list. India has been achieving consistent high growth rate of 13.3 per cent, 13.5 per cent and 12.4 per cent in FTA in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively,'' the Minister told the House.
''India's FTA share in the world during 2005, 2006 and 2007 was 0.49 per cent, 0.52 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively,'' she added.
The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism in India have also increased from 3.10 billion dollars in 2002 to an estimated 11.62 billion dollars in 2007.
The Ministry had commissioned 20-year Perspective Plans, which give action plan for tourism development, for states and Union Territories at the beginning of the 10th five-year plan to guide them in initiating action for development and promotion of tourism, she added.