36 countries send less than 50 tourists to India
NEW DELHI: It might be tough for an Indian to locate Wallis Futuna Island (South Pacific), Micronesia (set of thousand islands in the western Pacific Ocean) or St Pierre & Maiqueldu (in the north-western Atlantic Ocean near Canada) on a map but their citizens have found reasons to visit the country. These are among 36 countries which sent less than 50 tourists to India in 2012.
According to data from the tourism ministry, one tourist each came from Wallis Futuna Island, St Pierre & Maiqueldu, Guam, Gibraltar, Cayman Islands and Anguilla while Virgin Islands sent two citizens in 2012. Countries including Norfolk Island, Mariana Island and Greenland sent three tourists each while Turks & Caicos Island, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Mayotte sent four tourists each. Micronesia sent five tourists.
About 22 countries sent less than 10 tourists, including British Solomon Islands, Marshal Island, Sao Tome & Principe and Equatorial Guinea. Data shows less than 100 foreign tourist arrivals from countries like Dahomey, Granada, Montserrat, Guinea Bissau, Antilles, St Christopher & Nevis and Kiribati.
Some better known countries like Vatican City sent 35 visitors while the principality of Liechtenstein sent 136 of its nationals. According to travel industry sources, several of these countries serve as tax havens with visitors traveling for “business” rather than leisure.
Foreign tourist arrivals grew by about 4.5% from 6.30 million in 2011 to 6.57 million in 2012. The US continued to lead as the top most source country, reaching 1 million tourists in 2012. The World Travel and Tourism Council has named India along with China as one of the fastest growing tourism industries for the next 10 to 15 years.