Fears of an economic slowdown have had no impact on the tourism sector in India which remains a high spending destination for foreign travellers.
The foreign tourist arrivals have touched 3.87 million this September, which is an increase of 10.4 per cent over a corresponding period the previous year.
While the percentage increase in foreign tourist arrivals in 2007 over 2006 for the month of September was 1.3 per cent, the increase in 2008 has been as high as 9.6 per cent.
India's foreign exchange earnings in the tourism sector have touched Rs 36,464 crores (Rs 364.64 billion) by September, which is a 17.8 per cent increase over the previous year while the increase in 2007 over 2006 for the same period was 13.7 per cent.
Interestingly, in September 2007, there was a negative growth of foreign exchange earnings over 2006. However, the trend has been reversed and there has been 21.2 per cent increase in forex earnings.
India continues to be a long duration and high spending destination for foreign travellers. According to the UN World Tourism statistics, forex earnings per foreign traveller coming to India has been $ 2,112 in 2007, which is more than twice the foreign exchange of $ 948 earned per foreign traveller worldwide, as well as Asia Pacific's $ 1,027 per foreign traveller.
Most of the major Asian countries like China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand earn much less foreign exchange per foreign traveller as compared to India.
The resilience of Indian tourism sector is also evident from the fact that while the growth rate of foreign tourist arrivals worldwide has been five per cent in 2008, the average growth rate of Asia Pacific has been 6.9 per cent.The foreign tourist arrivals to India have grown at a rate well above 10 per cent.