In 2019, 93 million international visitors visited India, up from 10.56 million in 2018, marking a 3.5 percent increase. Domestic tourist visits to all states and union territories were 1,036.35 million in 2012, a 16.5 percent increase over 2011. The highest number of domestic tourists (in terms of value) was recorded in 2012 with $17.8 billion spent that year.
India is becoming more attractive as a tourism destination for both locals and foreigners. In 2019, India received 93 million international tourists, a record high. The country's tourism industry is growing at a fast pace and it has the potential to become one of the largest in the world.
In 2017, international tourists accounted for 18.5% of the total tourists visiting India. Out of this, Chinese tourists made up 35%. The other popular countries were Australia, Germany, France, Italy, America, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt.
The majority of Indian tourists visit the main city of the state they come from. For example, if you come from London you will most likely stay in Mumbai (although the city has much more to offer than just shopping!).
India is a large country with 33 officially recognized languages being spoken by people within its borders. However, due to the popularity of English around the world, most Indians can speak this language too.
Tamil Nadu: With over six million visits in 2019, Tamil Nadu has the greatest number of international tourists in India. In the same year, there were 31 million international tourist arrivals in India. Of these, about 5% came to Tamil Nadu.
Kerala: Kerala attracted 10 million visitors in 2019, making it the second most popular state in India after Tamil Nadu. The main attractions of Kerala are its beaches and religious sites such as Ayyappa Temple in Trivandrum and Church of South India in Cochin.
Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh is a Himalayan state in northern India with a population of around 7 million people. It is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities including skiing and mountaineering. Himachal Pradesh received more than five million tourists in 2019, making it the third most popular state in India behind Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh is one of the most populous states in India with over 200 million people. It is also one of the most polluted states in India. The main attractions of Uttar Pradesh are its ancient monuments such as Taj Mahal and Meherangarh Fort. In 2019, Uttar Pradesh received four million tourists, making it the fourth most popular state in India.
India is unquestionably not a tourist-friendly country. Nearly 8.2 million overseas visitors visited India last year. A 4.5 percent increase. People come to India for holidays, vacations, and even solo travel from all around Europe, Asia, and North America. But India has many challenges when it comes to tourism.
The main one is security. Since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed over 160 people, the government has taken several measures to ensure peace during this important period for the tourism industry. These include restrictions on some popular sites such as the Taj Mahal and banning of small knives and guns in Delhi.
Another challenge is hygiene. The hotel industry is working hard to improve their conditions but there are still plenty of dirty hotels. Most cities have a number of shoddy accommodations, which is why most tourists prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotels instead.
Last, but not least, is the language barrier. India is a large country with more than 200 languages being spoken by its population of 1.3 billion people. Many travelers who visit India regularly say that the hardest part is definitely not getting around but rather understanding what people are saying to you. The Hindi language is the most widely spoken language in India followed by English. However, many Indians do not speak these languages so be prepared to communicate in either French or Spanish if you plan to visit some remote areas of the country.
In 2019, the number of foreign tourist arrivals reached around 1.46 billion. The number of foreign visitor arrivals has grown dramatically as international travel has become more affordable. In 1999, there were only 237 million global trips taken by travelers from abroad; by 2019 that number had increased to 515 million.
The most popular countries for tourism are China, India, Russia, the United States, and Brazil.
China became the world's biggest tourist destination in 2010, with 65 million visits by foreigners. In 2019, this figure was expected to reach 90 million. China is followed by India, Russia, the United States, and Brazil.
Europe is the most visited continent with 28% of the worldwide total. Asia accounts for 51% of the world total with Africa at 21%.
The main source of income for the tourism industry is accommodation and food. Other important industries include retail, transport, and entertainment.
Tourism is a vital element in many countries' economies, with several nations relying heavily on it for revenue. In addition, it provides work for thousands of people, especially in less developed countries.
The World Tourism Organization estimates that about 9 million jobs are linked to the sector. This represents about 2% of the total world employment.