On Friday, Indian Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel revealed that foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in the country surged even after several countries issued advisories suggesting travellers keep their India-plans on hold, in the wake of internal conflicts in the country.
Government data revealed that 2019 witnessed a 43 per cent increase in requests for electronic visas by international tourists. In addition, foreign exchanges (Forex) also grew by nearly 19 per cent.
“I think the data makes clear to those trying to create a bad perception of the country in a planned manner that they have failed. The data shows India is stable, peaceful and definitely worth seeing,” Patel said in New Delhi on Friday, while opening a conference.
Extension of E-Visa, Opening of 137 Mountaineering Peaks and many more productive steps have been taken by @tourismgoi Under Guidance of Hon'ble @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodi Ji who himself is Brand Ambassador of India. - Shri @prahladspatel at @Outlookindia's Responsible Tourism. pic.twitter.com/socw2FVcTE— Office of Shri Prahlad Singh Patel (@pspoffice) January 17, 2020
According to Federal Tourism Ministry data, in December 2019, FTA and Forex escalated by three per cent and 16 per cent respectively, despite protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Both, the CAA and the NRC have caused major chaos and upheaval in the country.
The CAA seeks to grant Indian nationality to persecuted Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The law, however, does not grant citizenship to Muslims from the three neighbouring countries.