Growth in foreign tourist arrivals positive: Chiranjeevi
New Delhi: Despite some "unfortunate" incidents involving foreigners, tourist arrivals from abroad registered a growth of over 2 per cent in the first two months of this year, Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi on Wednesday said.
"There has been some speculation in the media about the state of Indian tourism because of some extremely unfortunate events. I would like to place on record that the growth of foreign tourist arrivals to India in January and February, 2013 has been positive and not negative as reported," Chiranjeevi said here after launching the web based public service delivery system for hotel approval and classification.
A 39-year-old Swiss woman was raped in Madhya Pradesh last month, while a British woman jumped out of the balcony of a hotel in Agra fearing assault.
Prior to these incidents, the national capital had witnessed a ghastly case of gang rape in a bus in December which shocked the nation and reverberated around the world.
However, the Tourism Minister said these incidents had not impacted the flow of foreign tourists coming to India and their numbers have, infact, increased in comparison to the same period last year.
"Foreign tourist arrivals to India have grown by 2.1 per cent in these two months (January and February). There is no negative growth. During these two months, foreign exchange earnings from tourism rose by 19.8 per cent in rupee terms and 11.4 per cent in dollar terms," he said.