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5 million tourists visited Goa in 2015

5 million tourists visited Goa in 2015

Tourist arrivals into the coastal Indian state of Goa crossed the five million mark in 2015. Of the 5.30 million tourists, 541,000 were foreigners, the state government said in a statement on Tuesday.

The numbers mark a 30 percent increase over the previous year, the statement added.

Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) into Goa remained unaffected in 2015, notwithstanding the slowdown in many source destinations in Europe and Russia.

“Foreign tourist arrivals from UK, Russia, UAE, USA, Portugal, South Africa and many others have shown an increase in arrivals to the State despite continued recession and crises’ that hit the European regions,” the state’s tourism department said in the statement.

The state has been one of the big beneficiaries of the e-tourist visa concept introduced by the government in November 2014.

In calendar year 2015, 445,300 foreign tourists visited India on e-tourist visas, as against 39,046 in 2014.

Over a 12-month period ended December 2015, 49,626 foreign tourists visited Goa on e-tourist visas, the Goan tourism ministry said.

The state contributed 13.4 percent to the total FTAs on e-tourist visa in February 2016, 19.1 percent in January and 16.5 percent in December 2015.

The e-tourist visa facility is now available to citizens of 150 countries.

In calendar year 2015, 80.16 lakh foreign tourists visited India, an increase of 10.2 percent over 76.79 lakh tourists in 2014.

However, foreign exchange earnings in 2015 were down 2.8 percent to $19.67 billion from $20.23 billion in 2014, according to a statement issued by the union tourism ministry on Jan. 8, 2016.

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