09 September 2008

Indian gov't sets a 10 million visitor arrival target by 2010

The Indian Government has announced it will aim to attract 10 million international tourists to the country annually by 2010 and create another four ports for international cruisers to dock at, reports the Economic Times.

Shilabhadra Banerjee, Secretary of India’s tourism industry, said "Keeping in mind the very positive tourism trends and the sector's potential for additional employment and revenue generation, we have set a target of 10 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2010."

According to Banerjee, the net income from 10 million tourists could amount to $9 billion in foreign exchange and earnings and create 15 million more jobs. 

The Government also proposes to provide incentives for the four new ports so that they allow both cargo and leisure cruisers to dock at their stations, and to improve immigration procedures so that more international tourists on Indian visas can move through customs faster and more efficiently. 

During 2002-06, the number of international tourists arriving on cruise ships increased by 310 per cent.  Overall, tourist arrivals increased by 14.3 per cent and income from tourism increased by 24.3 per cent in 2007.  During the same period, a total of 5.08 million international tourists visited India in 2007 and spent $10.73 billion.

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in India visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.

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