India changes tourist count

NEW DELHI, 22 May 2017: India’s ranking based on tourist arrivals monitored by UNWTO has improved, according India’s Ministry of Tourism, as the country adopts a different way of counting arrivals.

In the latest UNWTO ranking, India moved up from 40th and 41st (2014 and 2015) to 24th place following its adoption of the same counting benchmark practiced by other UNWTO member-countries.

India is now counting non-resident Indians for the first time since it started to monitor tourism statistics in the 1970s..

India’s international tourist arrivals according to UNWTO were pegged at 13.11 and 13.28 million for 2014 and 2015 when visits by non-resident Indians were included.

Prior to that, India did not include this category in its tourist count.  By doing so it immediately improved India’s ranking in global tourism stakes to 24th in the table.

For 2014 and 2015 counting NRS added 5.43 million and 5.26 million, respectively.

Based on the UNWTO definition, International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs) comprises two components namely Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Non-Resident Nationals NRNs).

So far only the figures of FTAs were compiled in India. However, now India confirms it also counting arrivals of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).

Due to this inclusion, India’s improved ranking reflects a “true and comparable scenario” India’s Press Bureau reported.

Earlier India’s rank in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), 2017 indicated India improved its ranking 12 places from 2015. The 2017 report gave India a ranking of 40th compared to 52nd in 2015, 65th in 2013 and 68th in 2011.