A few days after PM Modi announced the banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, scrapping 87% of the total currency in circulation, various propaganda and rumours started to spread by the camp which was clearly rattled by the surgical attack on black money. One of the rumours was how demonetisation will badly hit the tourism sector, especially foreign tourists who are dependent on cash in India. However, a recent data shows that 8.91 lakh foreign tourists visited India in November this year, a growth of 9.3 per cent over the same month last year, indicating that demonetisation move did not impact the tourists footfall adversely. Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) during November 2015 was 8.16 lakh, while it was 7.65 lakh in November 2014.
Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism during the month of November were Rs 14,474 crore as compared to Rs 12,649 crore in the same month last year, recording a growth of 14.4 per cent. The US accounted for highest share of tourist arrivals followed by the UK and Bangladesh in November 2016, according to an official release. FTAs during January-November, 2016 were 78.53 lakh, recording a growth of 10.4 per cent as compared to 71.14 lakh during the corresponding period last year. FEEs from tourism in January-November were Rs 1,38,845 crore, witnessing an increase of 14.7 per cent as compared to the Rs 1,21,041 crore during the corresponding period last year.
Among the top 15 ports of entry, the share of Delhi Airport was highest with 32.71 per cent, followed by Mumbai Airport (18.51 per cent), Chennai Airport (6.83 per cent), Bengaluru Airport (5.89 per cent), Haridaspur Land check post (5.87 per cent), Goa Airport (5.63 per cent), Kolkata Airport (3.90 per cent) and Cochin Airport (3.29 per cent).
The increase of almost 10% in foreign tourists arrival and an increase of 15% in foreign exchange earning in the month of November clearly indicates one thing – there is much difference between the propaganda that mainstream media and political parties with vested interests want us to believe, and the reality. The fact that demonetisation had no effect whatsoever on foreign tourists and foreign exchange earnings is a testimony to it.