India’s extremely diverse geography, with landscape ranging from snow-capped mountains to deserts, plains, hills and plateaus, has a huge role to play in making it such an alluring choice for travellers across the globe. India has 36 World Heritage Sites. In this land of surprises, the list of the places to visit is endless. Each destination has its own unique and enchanting charm that justifies why India is such a popular tourist choice. About 10 million foreign tourists visit India annually.
Read on to find out about the top 5 tourist destinations in India and the reasons for their popularity:
There is always a ready flock of tourists to visit the land of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. During 2017-2018, Taj Mahal earned ₹ 57 crore followed by Agra Fort – ₹ 31 crore. The abode of the Mughal royals for several centuries, Agra is well known for its majestic monuments, Mughlai delicacies, artisans and handicrafts, all of which combine to offer a one-in-a-lifetime experience to travellers.
A destination where history comes alive, Jaipur, city of remarkable architecture, vibrant colours, a variety of handloom garments museums showcasing the life of its royal families, is a favourite for tourists. Often, visitors combine Jaipur with the adventures of the nearby dunes, a romantic escape for all. Significantly, there has been nearly 10% growth in tourist arrivals in Jaipur in 2017.
Coastal climate, beautiful beaches and a laid back, relaxed attitude. Tourists, both domestic as well as international, visit this ‘pearl of the east’ to enjoy its splendid weather, imposing churches, historical fort ruins, palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, ferry rides and bubbly folk music. Last year, almost 700,000 foreigners made a beeline for the beach state. In a time, span of just 6 months during the peak season of October to March, Goa receives over 200,000 visitors from the UK, Finland, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Ukraine and other countries.
- Leh & Ladakh
A land of Buddhist sites and picturesque trekking sites, Leh, a high-desert city in the Himalayas, is a traveller’s dreamland. Its high passes, massive lakes, great altitude ranges, deep valleys, scenic trails, and historic monasteries attract many adventure seekers and peace lovers alike, both from India as well as abroad. A testimony to this destination’s popularity is the fact that domestic tourist arrival grew by 43% and foreign tourism grew by 28% between 2015 and 2017, putting Leh-Ladakh on the map of enthusiastic travellers from across the globe.
An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations, exotic wildlife, waterfalls, Ayurvedic health holidays, enchanting art forms, exotic cuisine – Kerala is truly a magical one-stop destination for all this and more. It is a perfect tourist site for people the world over. Kerala’s total revenue from tourism during 2017 is ₹ 33,384 crores, thus showing an increase of 12% over previous year’s figure of ₹ 29,659 crores.
As tourism is considered to be a vital catalyst for economic growth and development, the Ministry of Tourism launched the Incredible India 2.0 Campaign in 2017-18 to position India as a must experience destination for overseas travellers.
As per CII’s November 2017 report “Travel & Tourism: Undergoing Metamorphosis”, India has climbed up to the 40th position among 136 nations in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI). This progress can be awarded to the improving quality of infrastructure, including enhanced regional and international connectivity that has made Indian destinations more accessible to tourists.
As per future plans, in the 2018-19 Union Budget, the Government of India has also announced the development of 12 prominent sites into iconic tourism destinations by ensuring the development of infrastructure, skill and technology and by attracting private investment, branding and marketing.
With this announcement, the tourism sector is definitely bound to be a booming ground for numerous opportunities in India.