State not among top 10 tourist hubs

Manish Kumar
Post News Network

New Delhi, June 30: The state has failed to attract tourists, both from within the country and abroad, despite its vast coastline, significant religious sites and the large number of traditional art forms.
The state did not figure among the top 10 destinations for tourists, according to data of the Union tourism ministry released Thursday.
The top 10 states in terms of domestic tourist footfall (in millions) during 2015 were Tamil Nadu (333.5), Uttar Pradesh (204.9), Andhra Pradesh (121.6), Karnataka (119.9), Maharashtra (103.4), Telangana (94.5), Madhya Pradesh (78), West Bengal (70.2), Gujarat(36.3) and Rajasthan (35.2), showed the data from the market research division of the ministry, which compiles data on domestic and foreign tourist visits received from departments of tourism of various state governments and Union territory administrations.
The top 10 states in terms of arrival of tourists from abroad (in millions) during 2015 were Tamil Nadu (4.68), Maharashtra (4.41), Uttar Pradesh (3.1), Delhi (2.38), West Bengal (1.49), Rajasthan (1.48), Kerala (0.98), Bihar (0.92), Karnataka (0.64) and Goa (0.54).
The ministry, however, claimed that the sector flourished with a rise in the number of tourists. During 2015, the total number of domestic tourists was 1,432 million compared to 1,282.80 million in 2014, a growth of 11.63 per cent. The top 10 states accounted for 83.62 per cent of this.
In terms of arrival of tourists from abroad in 2015, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi retained their positions of 2014, while West Bengal improved its position by one rank in 2015 compared to the previous year to leave Rajasthan in the sixth rank.
The revelation on tourists comes at a time when several delegations from the state tourism department are making several foreign trips on taxpayers’ money to different countries in the name of ‘boosting tourism’ in Orissa.
The figures for Orissa do not come as a surprise, as state tourism and culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda had accepted in the Assembly that the number of tourists from abroad had declined in Orissa.
Tourism experts claimed that lack of direct air connectivity to Orissa, the earlier ban of entry of foreigners to some areas of the state and the lack of uniform tourism trade legislation are the factors hampering the prospects of tourism in the state.

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