Lakhs of foreign tourists cancelled their India trip after the Mumbai attack in November last year. It is clearly reflected in the data released by the tourism ministry on Thursday.
During the first nine months of this year only 35.75 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India. A sharp decline of 8.27 per cent. During the same period last year 38.71 lakh tourists had arrived in the country.
Experts believe that the sharp decline was due to audacious terror attack on Mumbai in the last November that specifically targeted foreign tourists and luxury hotels.
This trend continued till the last month of third quarter of this year. Only 3.17 lakh foreign tourists arrived in India in the month of September this year.
This is a decline of 4.1 percent compared with the same period last year. In September 2008, 3.31 lakh foreign tourists had arrived in India.
However, marginal arrest was witnessed in this declining trend in the third quarter of year. Decline rate had come down to -7.7 per cent in the third quarter from -8.8 per cent decline witnessed during the first two quarters.
This can be a matter of relief as the country expected a further decline in the foreign tourist arrival during this period.
Many foreign countries including the US, Israel and other western countries issued advisories to their citizens to avoid traveling to India given the increased possibility of terror attacks during the independence day celebration and festive season.