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BY Abra Dunsby


WTM 2017: Visitor numbers to India soar following premier partnership with WTM London last year

India’s status as Premier Partner of WTM London last year, The Jungle Book effect and updates to the country’s e-tourist visa programme have all been lauded for contributing to a rise in international visitor numbers.

Taj Mahal, Agra

Visitor numbers to India are up following a successful partnership with WTM London last year and updates to the e-tourist visa programme

Speaking to TTG at WTM London today, Rashmi Verma, secretary of tourism for India, said there had been a 15.6% rise in international visitor numbers between January and September this year.


After WTM London last year, there was a 1% increase in UK visitor numbers to India, who now account for 11% of international visitors.


Verma said India’s largest inbound market was the USA, followed by the UK, France and Germany. Emerging markets include Japan and China.


“The WTM London sponsorship was very successful and presented a great opportunity for Incredible India,” said Verma.


Verma said updates this April to the e-tourist visa had also helped fuel visitor growth. The visa has now been extended to 162 countries, and duration of stay has been increased from one month to two, with double entry now meaning tourists can leave and re-enter the country within the time frame.


The destination celebrated 70 years of independence this year with an array of cultural programmes that Verma credited this as "another factor in the growth in numbers."


To entice future visitors, the Ministry of Tourism revealed plans to develop a new Incredible India website, featuring 360-videos and the ability to personalise itineraries.


Verna also announced a new focus for India for next year, dubbing 2018 the “Year of Adventure Tourism in India,” with plans for a new promotional video and fam trips in the pipeline.

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