India's appeal as a tourist destination received a tremendous boost in 2007 with the British edition of the Conde Nast Traveller magazine declaring that India topped the list of preferred travel destinations in the world.
The inclusion of the Taj Mahal as one of the seven wonders of the world further cemented India as a top travel hub.
Italy, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand followed India on the Conde Nast Traveller magazine's list.
India achieved a 15% growth in terms of foreign tourist arrivals, moving from 4.4 million visitors in 2006 to over 5 million tourists in 2007. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism shot up by almost 18% from Rs 29,604 crore (Rs 296.04 billion) in 2006 to close to Rs 35,000 crore (Rs 350 billion). India's tourism ministry has also launched an aggressive advertising campaign (Incredible India) and road shows the world over.
According to the latest World Tourism Organisation statistics, 842 million international tourist arrivals were recorded last year of which India's share was 0.52%. Though much smaller countries like Singapore received twice the number of tourists, the upside of the scenario is that the average duration of stay of a tourist in Singapore is 4.2 days, as against 26 days in India, according to the official data, and 12 days, according to the Indian tourism industry.
Photograph courtesy: Kerala Tourism
Also read: Top tourist spots in India
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