Tourism is big business in India and according to new figures released on Wednesday, business is booming.
Despite continued warnings of the threat of militant attacks in the country and sluggish growth in international traveller numbers following the global downturn, India’s tourism numbers bucked a downfall last year to post close to double-digit growth last month, resulting in an almost $1 billion windfall for the industry.
Foreign visitors jumped 9 percent during August compared to last year, with 382,000 entries during the month. A cumulative total since January of 3,467,000 is up 9.7 percent on 2009, according to India’s Ministry for External Affairs.
For India’s hotels, restaurants, tourist sites and shops, higher visitor numbers means higher revenues — in August, revenues touched $992 million, an increase of $70 million from the same period last year.
Perhaps most encouraging for industry players, and the government’s Incredible India tourism campaign, the rise in visitors comes during a year that has seen bomb attacks and civil unrest.