Is the International Tourism to India Changing Its Composition? – A Region-wise Analysis

In my last to last blog, I had shown how Foreign Tourists Arrivals (FTAs) are changing over time. The same blog also identified the pattern of the change and concluded that the revival in foreign tourists arrivals, post 2008 global recession, started since 2012 only.

However, I did not include any analysis on the origin of the FTAs to India. We find the FTA data country-wise as well as region-wise. In this blog, I present a region-wise analysis of FTAs without going into the country-wise details. These series of blogs on FTAs to India is inteded towards a bigger analysis which can finally capture changing pattern of expenditure of foreign tourists in India and how that is occuring over time. It will take me about 4 to 5 more blogs like this one to reach at point whereby I can do that analysis. As I wrote in the previous blog also, I am trying to use lesser texts with more visual presentations so that readers are not burdened with too many texts, but can have the essence clearly with visula representatuions.

The Fig 1 depicts that three top regions of origin of FTAs to India are Western Europe, North America and South Aisa. These three regions contribute to about 65% to 70% of the total FTAs to India during 2010 to 2012. The following figure also suggests that the relative ranks of the regions in terms of FTAs remined same over the period 2010 to 2012.

fig 1

Note: C & S America stands for Central and South America; NEC stands for “Not Classified Elsewhere”. The same are applicable to all graphs used in this blog.

In Fig 2 the proportion of each region to total FTAs is reported. It shows a few interesting trends as given below.

1. For top three regions, the share to total FTA has declined continuously from 2010 to 2012. The decline was about 2% points in case of Western Europe and marginal (0nly about 0.5 percentage point) in case of North America and South Asia.

2. Singinificant increase is noted for the regions Eastern Europe and East Asia which was more than 1 percentage point for both countries

3. For all other regions except Central adn South America, increase though marginal, was noted.

This trend as depicted in Fig 2 has been corroborated in Fig 3 more clearly which exhibits actual number of increase in FTAs region-wise. The sharp declines in FTAs between 2011-12 compard to 2010-11 makes it clear why the share has chnaged the way it has been shown in Fig 2. Except East Asia, eastern Europe and North America, all other countries has seen a decline in the change in FTAs. Africa, of course is the only exception where the change is positive, though very marginally..

fig 2




The following figure shows contribution of each region to total change in FTAs during 2010-11 and 2011-12. A clear picture has emerged to explain the decline as seen earlier. East Asia tops in contribution in total increase in FTAs to India during 2011-12 with 22% share as compared to the same of only 12% during 2010-11. Almost similar trend is observed for North America, which stood next to East Asia. Where as the contribution by Western Europe has gone down from about 16% in 2010-11 to only 5% in 2011-12. Significant decline has been noted for South Asia and South East Asia also, where as Africa’s share has been almost doubled from about 5% to 10%.

Fig 4: % Share in Actual Chnage in FTAs

fig 4

The above analysis suggests that there is certainly a changing balance in FTAs to India. A few crucial questions emerge from this:

1. Is it a long term one? Or, only a short term phenomenon which may change the pivot again?

2. If this is a long trem one, what would be the implications of this change on India’s tourism scenario, especially in terms of foreign exchange earning?

3. Which are the destinations that would gain or loose their importance in FTA map in India?

4. The most crucial question is why is this happening? Is it external to tourism factors/system/happenings within India? Or, these are completely due to some other reasons?

The last questiona has even more importance keeping in mind a report in Times of India 2 days back on  30% decline in revenue earning fom foreign tourists from Delhi’s heritage sites.

Thanks to all readers. Will be happy to receive comments and feedback from you.



One response to “Is the International Tourism to India Changing Its Composition? – A Region-wise Analysis

  1. I know very little…ur wring skill is suparb…actually ur a perrson of data analysis question answer report..u love to play with data…postmortem data…then analyse data….so keep it up….try to write something which attracts people who has no idea about economics…..

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