Data released by the Union Tourism Ministry of India’s market research division, based on the inputs provided by the tourism departments in all States as well as Union Territories, showed a double-digit growth in tourist arrivals in India on year-over-year basis. While there was a 12 percent growth in domestic tourists (compared to 9.59 in 2013), the growth in the number of foreign tourist arrivals was 13.12 percent (compared to 9.24 in the prior year).
The top destination for the tourists continued to be Tamil Nadu. The state received the highest number of domestic (327.6 million) and foreign visitors (4.66 million).
Uttar Pradesh stood in the second position as far as domestic tourism is concerned with the state recording 182.8 million tourist arrivals. However, the state that attracted the most foreign tourists after Tamil Nadu was Maharashtra. As many as 4.39 million foreign tourists visited the state followed by Uttar Pradesh 2.91 million, New Delhi 2.32 million, Rajasthan 1.53 million, West Bengal 1.38 million, Kerala 0.92 million, Bihar 0.83 million, Karnataka 0.56 million and Haryana 0.55 million. The list is the same as in 2013, except that Haryana debuted by replacing Goa.
Karnataka and Maharashtra moved one position up in the domestic tourists rank list to the third and fourth position, recording 118.3 million and 94.1 million, respectively. While Andhra Pradesh with 93.3 million domestic tourists rose to the fifth position after the split, Telangana with 72.4 million debuted at the sixth position. West Bengal (4.9 crore) moved up one place to the eighth position. Jharkhand (3.34 crore) was a surprise entrant on the list, jumping to the ninth position from 14th in 2013.
Madhya Pradesh with 63.6 million domestic tourists slipped to the seventh position from sixth in 2013 despite aggressive advertising. On the other hand West Bengal (49 million) moved one step up to the eighth position and Jharkand (33.4 million) surprisingly jumped to the ninth position from 14th in the previous year. However, Rajasthan (33.1 million), viewed as the country’s most popular tourist destination, slipped three positions to the 10th place in the list.