Inbound tourism may register up to 10 percent jump this Christmas-New Year season: ASSOCHAM

New Delhi, Dec 24 : According to a survey just-concluded by apex industry body ASSOCHAM, Inbound tourism is likely to register an increase of up to 10 per cent during this Christmas-New Year holiday season as travelers plan to refrain from going overseas in wake of recent terror attacks in most sought after global tourist destinations of Bangkok and Paris.

“Tourist hotspots in northern, central India and in majority of the coastal belt are expected to see influx of about 15 lakh domestic and foreign tourists as they find it both cheap and safe,” ASSOCHAM.

“Tourism, which is the mainstay of the economy in Andaman and Nicobar, and in states like Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh together with the states in the north-east are likely to do brisk business and attract tourists in large numbers,” said D.S. Rawat.

“Though terrorist attacks can occur anywhere, but certain latest cases are likely to significantly impact outbound tourism in a negative way and this trend is expected to revive the domestic tourism sector which has been facing a lull due to growing inflation, rising airfares, high hotel room rates, fluctuations in the value of rupee against foreign currencies and other related factors,” said Rawat.

“It is also likely to boost foreign exchange earnings,” he added.

The ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation had interacted with about 500 travel enthusiasts (working professionals) in the age group of about 25 to 60 years in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune in past four weeks.

Majority of these respondents (about 60 percent) said they have planned to go on a vacation this year-end.

Over half of these said they plan to visit northern tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and others as certain parts of southern India have recently been hit by unprecedented rains, highlighted the ASSOCHAM survey.

Of the remaining, many said they plan to visit Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Port-blair and other locations for their vacations.

Only handful (8-10 percent) respondents said they plan to go abroad for vacations to Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore and other such affordable and ‘safe’ destinations.

Representatives of the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation had also spoken to various tour operators in said cities, many of whom informed they are receiving tourist bookings in good numbers for aforementioned states and hope to rake in big moolah during this end-of-the-year holiday season. (ANI)