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India had 5.08 m tourists in '08

Source: PTI
January 09, 2009 18:24 IST
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India's tourism sector has grown by six per cent with 5.3 million arrivals in 2008, despite the global slowdown hitting the tourism industry worldwide.

In 2007, 5.08 million tourists had thronged India.

"While the global average of growth was about two per cent, Indian tourism sector grew to 5.3 million arrivals in 2008," tourism joint secretary Leena Nandan told reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci conference here.

This has helped India get Rs 50,730 crore (Rs 507.3 billion) worth of foreign exchange in 2008 compared with Rs 44,260 crore (Rs 442.6 billion) in 2007, up about 14 per cent, she added.

"This was a good growth as the last quarter was specifically low with the global economic meltdown and the Mumbai attacks. Despite that, in December, we saw more than five lakh tourist arrivals, which is very encouraging," she said.

Asked about the expected number of tourist arrivals in 2009, Nandan said, "We do not have year-on-year targets but by 2010, we expect the number to touch 10 million."

The tourism ministry is also set to launch a new campaign post the Mumbai attacks.

"The campaign is set to begin this month through all mediums including the web. The ads will feature a tiger and Mahatma Gandhi's quote will follow (Let the winds from all over sweep into my room but I will not be swept off my feet) which is representative of India's determination," she said.

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