Tourism to dip by 10 pc in India this year; Assocham

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) Tourism industry is likely to decline by 10 per cent this year instead of growing by 15 per cent as projected earlier, according to a study done by an industry body.

Inbound tourism from United States, the epicentre of global financial crisis which led to worldwide economic slowdown, could be down by 10-15 per cent, while numbers from Europe will fall by around five per cent, Assocham said.

Tourists outflow from India would also fall by 5-7 per cent in 2008-09 as the meltdown is being felt by all segments of Indian economy, Assocham secretar-general D S Rawat said.

Diwali this year was symptomatic of the slowing trend as leisure tourism did not witness much of significant movement and it is likely to conintue in the coming Christmas and New Year, the study done by tourist committee of the chamber said.

The expected decline, however, could somewhat be mitiaged by better tourists inflow from West Asia. Similarly, the inbound flow from China and other South-East Asian countries could grow as they economically are not hit as badly as are the US and Europe. Therefore, Assocham believes that there would not be much erosion in foreign exchange earnings, adding decline from US and Europe could be compensated by countries in West Asia and South East Asia, including China.

Assocham said religious and medical tourism would also take a hit, affecting Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Jammu&Kashmir and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

The chamber suggested "zero commission travel" to the government to at least protect jobs in tourism industry.

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