Although the Indian tourism industry has shown a lot of potential, the road to recovery to the pre-pandemic level is still difficult and arduous. This article examines how India performed in comparison to other nations based on recently revealed provisional data India tourism statistics for 2022.
This post is about how COVID-19 affected the tourism industry and how India got back on its feet after the pandemic in 2022. So the comparison is made between 2019 and 2022 as our two data points.
For our case study we have not only checking the statistics released by the Indian government but we will also look at what the WTO (World Tourism Organization), UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) & WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council ) has to say about it.
The following is a synopsis of India’s tourism statistics 2022:
- The total International Tourist Arrivals in India was 9.7 million in 2019 whereas for 2022 it was 5.2 million, 46.3 % drop .
- The average for Asia in the same period was -75% drop, so India is faring better when compared to rest of the continent.
- Expenditure by foreign tourists increased by 10% when compared to the same period in 2019.
- Since the restart of India e-Visa Services, 574,000 eVISA has been applied by Foreign Tourists
- USA, Bangladesh & United Kingdom are the top 3 major source of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in the country.
- India has allocated 2400 Crores (USD 290.14 million) to promote tourism for FY 2022-23.
- No of Approved tour operators in the country increased to 1224 compared to 1000.
Domestic tourism showed strong Revival for India in 2022
According to the Indian Tourism Statistics 2022 report, 677.63 million domestic tourists visited India in 2021. From 610.22 in 2020, the proportion has climbed by 11.05%. Tamil Nadu had 115.33 million domestic visitors, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 109.70 million, Andhra Pradesh with 93.27 million, and Karnataka with 81.33 million.
Taj Mahal was the most visited monument in India followed by Red Fort and the Qutub Minar.
To entice foreign Visitors to India, a vaccination campaign called Heal in India was promoted by the government. This campaign seems to have worked reasonably well since India.
Just like most of the countries affected by the pandemic, India first concentrated on reviving local tourism with many campaigns. One of these was “Dekho Apna Desh” which urged Indians to take a pledge to visit at-least 15 destinations in India by 2022. As an attempt to gamify local tourism, one can also win a prize along with a certificate if you achieve your goals.
Along with this the state government also ran campaigns that themed around rediscovering ones local routes and explore the unexplored parts of the states that you live. An example of this the change of Air campaign launched by Kerala Tourism board.
Karnataka tourism Board too created a new campaign called “Seven Wonders of Karnataka” to promote local tourism.
The Tamilnadu Tourism Board too, wanted to lure the international market into TamilNadu In the UK, a number of programmes are being carried out to promote Tamil Nadu as a significant tourism hub.
Recently, the World Travel Market 2022, which was hosted at the International Conference Centre in London, saw the opening of the Tamil Nadu Tourism pavilion by Minister for Tourism M Mathiventhan.
At the pavilion, items representing the department were on display, showcasing the rich tradition and culture of Tamil Nadu. The pavilion was visited by a number of state business owners, including proprietors of hotels and restaurants, tour guides, and plantation tourist organisations.
In addition to Northern Ireland, the department also held road shows in London. Officials attended the events hosted by Tamil organisations in London and promoted the state’s tourist attractions.
Maharastra Tourism Board too ran several initiatives such as:
Adventure Tourism: The Maharashtra government introduced an adventure tourism policy in order to channel adventure tourism in the state and create employment opportunities for residents. This made the most of our exciting adventure destinations.
Development of tourism through privatization of MTDC properties: MTDC lands will be leased on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis in an effort to promote tourism. The lands will be developed in phases, with the open lands at Tadoba and Fardapur (Aurangabad) being developed with the intention of developing the luxury segment, while MTDC resorts at Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Harihareshwar (dist. Raigad), and Mithbav (dist. Sindhudurg) will be developed in the first phase.
Beach shack policy: has selected a few beaches to do so. These beaches are: Kunkeshwar and Tarkali in Sindhudurg; Araware and Guhagar in Ratnagiri; Diveagar and Varsoli in Raigad; Kelwe and Bordi in Palghar; and Diveagar and Varsoli in Raigad. Each beach will include ten shacks with food, wine, beer, a music system, and a lounge chair with an umbrella.
Caravan Tourism: We also introduced the Caravan Tourism Policy in an effort to encourage tourism, create more jobs, and allow people to travel through Maharashtra in luxury.
International Tourist Arrivals was still 46% below compared to 2019
India has always been one of the top tourist destinations in Asia, before COVID India saw over 9.7 million International tourist Arrivals from around the world.
The number has dropped to 5.7 million in 2022 . You can use the below interactive chart to see month wise breakdown of the visitors. Also note that the data for the mont of December has not yet been released by Indian tourism board. Once available the chart will be updated with the new Information.
This could also be attributed to India restarting it’s e-Tourist visa in 2022 facility that allows tourists to apply for India visa online at the end of Nov 2021 which made it easy to get an eVISA to visit India. We can see the number of tourists increased in the given period.
India tourism offices overseas participate in the major international Travel Fairs and Exhibitions in important tourist-generating markets the world over as well as in emerging and potential markets to showcase and promote the country’s tourism products. These include Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, World Travel Market(WTM) in London, ITB in Berlin, ITB Asia, IMEX in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, FITUR in Madrid, Top Resa in Milan, etc.
India performed better at a 44% drop in international visitors when compared to the rest of Asia saw International tourists drop by 75%India Tourism Statistics 2022
The Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Dubai 2022, being held from May 9 to May 12, 2022, is where the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, under its “Incredible India” brand line, showcased India’s rich and diverse tourism potential. Additionally, it aims to advertise India as a “Must See, Must Visit” country.
At the India Pavilion, India is being promoted as a “365 Days Destination,” which means that it is a year-round vacation destination with activities such as culture, adventure, golf, MICE, luxury, wildlife, wellness, and medical travel. India’s reopening has been emphasized as a theme throughout the market with the “Namaste Campaign” to welcome foreign travelers and highlight must-see locations in India.
Tourists visiting India increased their spending by 10% when compared to 2019
Although not much, foreign tourist arrivals in India increased their spending when compared to India tourism statistics of 2019. This can be attributed to India’s higher inflation rate: India’s inflation was 5.13% in 2022 whereas in 2019 it was 3.73% . As a result, things became much more expensive in 2022, as no hotels or tour operators offered deep discounts like in 2023 to attract customers. We can also see that people were more eager to spend the money they had probably saved from previous years of no travel.
The India eVISA scheme was reinstated in 2022 to facilitate easy tourist travel to India.
It is common knowledge that simplifying the visa process is a great method to encourage visitors from other countries to come to yours. As a result, in 2014, India launched its e-Tourist visa scheme. Despite our qualms with the implementation, this was unquestionably a brilliant policy shift on the part of the government. Millions of people have used this service to obtain their India visas.
Due to covid this visa was scrapped.
The above image shows the importance of having an evisa facility. In 2020, before covid, India had issued over 836,000 visas in just 2.5 months. But in 2022, the number has dropped to just 574,000 in 6 months.
Citizens of USA have applied for the most e-VISAs with almost 40% of the visas followed by Russians.
Europeans have a special interest in visiting India to see its spiritual side. Not to mention that India has a vast diaspora all throughout the world, and many of them desire to return home.
India’s FY 2022-23 tourism budget is 2400 Crores (USD 290.14 million)
The Ministry of Tourism of India has allocated a substantial outlay for the next fiscal year to promote tourism and make India one of the top destinations in Asia. This outlay takes a two-pronged approach of targeting both the domestic and international travel markets.
At a time when most well-off Indians aspire to visit far lands in Asia, why not enjoy the beauty of India? This has been the driving force during COVID when many Indians usually traveled within the state in they live.
Here is the split of the budget allocated for tourism as per India tourism statistics 2022.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme
As we can see most of the budget is allocated to SWADESH DARSHAN with an outlay of 1181 crores (USD 143 million).
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture under the Government of India initiated the Wadesh Darshan Scheme in the fiscal year 2014–15 as a Central Sector scheme for the purpose of facilitating the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
The plan’s objectives are to advance the state of tourism in India while also making better use of its potential.
As part of the Swadesh Darshan programme, the Ministry of Tourism gives Central Financial Assistance (also known as CFA) to state governments and administrations of union territories so that they can create the necessary infrastructure for circuits.
To position the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation and the driving force for economic growth, it is envisioned that this scheme will synergize with other schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, and Make in India, amongst others. Building synergy with various sectors will enable tourism to realise its potential.
The Ministry of Tourism of India introduced PRASAD in 2014-2015. PRASAD stands for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive.
This project develops and identifies Indian pilgrimage sites to enhance religious tourism. To complete religious tourism, it prioritises, plans, and sustains pilgrimage destinations. Domestic pilgrimage tourism drives growth.
The government and partners must develop pilgrimage places holistically to maximise pilgrimage tourism.
PRASAD promotes religious tourism in India. To know more about this Scheme visit here.
Publicity and Promotion scheme to be used by the tourism board and approved tourist operators to promote tourism to India. The budget outlay for this purpose is 340 crores (USD 41.5 million) .
India has more tour operators and hotels in 2022
When we analyse, inda tourism statistics of 2022, The total no of hotel rooms available for travellers has increased with more impetus to home stays and staycations. Government approved rooms in the whole country is now about 100,639 . This number is expected to go up as new data is released.
Also the no of approved tour operators has gone up albeit very slight improvement from the previous year with over 1224 recognised tour operators in the country.
Disclaimers in preparing India tourism statistics of 2022
- We are dependent on the travel statistics issued by the official tourism boards and organizations like UNWTO & WTO.
- This post on India tourism statistics for 2022 is incomplete and we will update it as we get the whole data from the government.