Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) into India are consistently going up, but foreign tourist earnings (FEEs) are on the decline.
In December 2015, 9.13 lakh foreigners visited India, up 3.2% from 8.85 lakh in December 2014, but earnings were down to $1.99 billion from $2.06 billion in December 2014.
Between January and December 2015, 80.16 lakh tourists visited India, marking an increase of 10.2% over 76.79 lakh tourists who came to India in the calendar year 2014.
FEEs in calendar year 2015 were down 2.8% at $19.67 billion, from $20.23 billion in 2014, according to a statement issued by the Union Tourism Ministry on 8 January, 2016.
From a source country point of view, the maxium number of foreign tourists came from the US (18.67%), followed by Bangladesh (11.64%) and the UK (11.60%).
Some of the other top source countries included Australia, Canada, the Russian Federation and Singapore.
During the January to November 2015 period, FTAs to India stood at 71 lakh, up 4.5% over 67.9 lakh over the corresponding period last year. But foreign exchange earnings, or FEEs, were $17.68 billion between January and November this year, down 3.8% from $18.38 billion during the January to November period last year.
Among other measures, the government's e-tourist visa scheme resulted in a spurt in FTAs.
During the 11-month period this year (Janury to November), 3.41 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-tourist visas, an almost 12-fold increase from 24,963 tourists in the corresponding period last year.
Meanwhile, the Narendra Modi government has replaced actor Aamir Khan with Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador of the tourism ministry's "Incredible India" campaign, reported NDTV.
The news channel said Bachchan's name was suggested by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
Earlier in the day, there were reports that the PMO had asked the Tourism Ministry to explain the removal of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan from the "Incredible India" campaign.
Amitabh Bachchan is also the brand ambassador of Gujarat, where Narendra Modi was chief minister between 2002 and 2014.