New Delhi: The number of foreign tourists who arrived in India this year during January-June is 106 per cent more than the figure for the corresponding period in 2022, official sources said on Tuesday.
Also, according to data shared by them, there has been a growth in foreign exchange earnings for this period in 2023 compared to the corresponding figures last year.
India has been making sustained efforts to boost tourism in the country, seeking rise in footfall of both domestic and international tourists, after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials earlier had said that after the coronavirus pandemic, foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India have increased.
"The number of foreign tourists who arrived in India this year during January-June stood at 43.80 lakh, which is 106 per cent higher than the figure (21.24 lakh) for the corresponding period in 2022," a source said.
As far as domestic tourism is concerned, the figure stood at 677 million in 2021 and grew to 1,731 million in 2022, the sources added.
Sharing data on the rise in tourist footfall in Jammu and Kashmir, the source said in 2022, the figures stood at over 1.8 crore while for the figures for the period January-June in 2023, was pegged at 1.09 crore.
They said the construction of the Kashi Vishwanah Corridor in Varanasi has contributed to the growth in tourism in the temple town.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 13, 2021, had inaugurated the first phase of the corridor christened Kashi Vishwanath Dham, a project that is spread over 500,000 square feet and connects the temple premises to the Ganga river.
Modi, in a recent Mann Ki Baat address, said the the recent jump in the number of tourists in Varanasi, reflects a "cultural reawakening."
Sources on Tuesday added that 7.16 crore people visited the temple in 2022 and 2.29 crore in 2023 (January-May), adding the number of visitors to the holy shrine has grown manifold since the construction of the corridor.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust's CEO, Sunil Verma, recently said that about 10 crore devotees have visited the temple since the inauguration of the corridor. PTI