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Indian tourism slowdown continues

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Arrivals almost stagnant in April and tourist-friendly initiatives fail to drive growth

The growth of international visitor arrivals to India continued to decelerate in April 2015.

According to the latest data from the country’s Ministry of Tourism, just 540,000 overseas travellers visited India last month. This marks an increase of just 0.6% compared to April 2014, and a decline of 26% from March 2015.

And this continues the subdued results experienced in India since the turn of the year. In the first four months of 2015, India has now welcomed 2.82 million visitors, just 2.7% higher than the same period last year. This reflects a significant slowdown from the 10.6% growth rate seen in 2014.

The reasons for this slowdown are not immediately evident; India has taken several measures in recent months to boost its tourism arrivals, including the expansion of its visa-on-arrival scheme.

In April, Bangladesh was India’s largest visitor source market, accounting for 15.7% of total arrivals. The USA (12.6% of total), UK (10.3%) Sri Lanka (4.0%) and Malaysia (3.3%) completed the top five.

Delhi Airport (30.4%) accounted for the largest proportion of arrivals, followed by Mumbai Airport (17.8%), the Haridaspur Land border in West Bengal (8.7%), Chennai Airport (8.5%) and Bengaluru Airport (6.5%).

Despite the stagnating visitor arrivals, India’s tourism revenues jumped 9.2% to INR94.38 billion (approximately US$1.51bn) in April, and were up 3.3% to INR424.740bn in the first four months of the year.

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