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Forex gains from tourism likely to dwindle in 2014: report

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 - 7:35pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad, Mumbai | Agency: PTI
The foreign exchange gains due to spends by overseas tourists is likely to shrink by more than half this calender year to 2.9 % against 6.2% in 2013, an industry report said.
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The foreign exchange gains due to spends by overseas tourists is likely to shrink by more than half this calender year to 2.9 % against 6.2% in 2013, an industry report said.

The domestic tourists, on the other hand, may splurge more, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council's annual economic impact data and forecasts for India, released today.
WTTC is a global research agency which studies the economic and social impact of the travel & tourism industry.

"The amount that international visitors spent in India rose by 6.2 per cent in 2013 but this is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2014. However, revenues from domestic tourism, which grew by 5.1% in 2013, are expected to increase by 8.2% this year," the report said.

According to the report, travel and tourism segment's contribution in the domestic economy stood at Rs 6,63,160 crore last year. It also generated 35 million jobs.

The report expects 2014 to be a year of above-average growth for travel and tourism segment in the country.

"Inbound tourism is continuing to grow both in terms of international tourist arrivals and international tourism receipts. But, it is the domestic market which will see particularly strong growth in 2014 with more investment and more Indians travelling," WTTC president and chief executive David Scowsill said.

Scowsill also welcomed the government's recent proposals including inclusion of more countries in the visa-on-arrival facility to boost tourism.

"This is a result of our continuing conversations with the government authorities to encourage freedom to travel for legitimate, bonafide tourists who want to visit India.

"It is a significant step towards achieving these substantial economic gains. A simple additional step of adding the capability for multiple entry to these visas on arrival for a longer period such as 6 months could allow India to capitalise on the long term potential from travel and tourism," he said.

The government recently proposed to extend visa on arrival and electronic travel authorisation for tourists from 180 countries, and to speed up the application process for those still requiring a paper visa to only three days.

It will give a necessary boost and competitive advantage to India against other destinations in South Asia and Middle East, Scowsill said.

"We hope the Government ensures an effective roll-out of this much-anticipated program before the ensuing tourist season in 2014. Long term, we would also encourage India to move towards e-visa applications," he added.




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