Incredible India is fast becoming a preferred destination for the middle-aged tourists. The latest statistics prepared by the Tourism Ministry states that travellers aged 45 and above constitute 41 per cent of the total tourists visiting the country. As per the Tourism Ministry report, to be published shortly, the number of younger foreign tourists declined 10 per cent during the last 10 years. On the other hand, during the same period, middle-aged and above category of tourists registered an 11 per cent increase. As per the break up, visitors in the age group 45-54 years constitute 19.6 per cent, 55-65 years constitute 13.5 per cent and 65 and above constitute 7 percent of the total number of tourists visiting India.
Europe and the US top the list of middle-aged tourists. South East Asia and East Asia send maximum number of young tourists to the country. And in the under 14 category, it is the UAE and the US that top the list.
Though the purpose of visit in case of 98 per cent foreign tourists is leisure, there are a number of visitors who club travel with education and employment. The maximum number of visitors who came here in 2006-07 for education and employment were from Israel, Yemen and Bahrain.
Whereas the UK continues to be the top source of foreign tourists, one surprise entry is China. For the first time, in 2006-07, China emerged as one of the 15 top tourists generating markets for India, with 1.4 per cent share in the total tourist arrivals. Most Chinese tourists are aged between 25 and 34. On the other hand, the number of tourists from Pakistan shows a negative growth rate of -5.8 per cent.
The foreign tourists arrival in 2006-07 has been highest from West Europe (33.4 percent), followed by South Asia (20.4 per cent). The growth rate is the highest in the case of East Asia, followed by Eastern Europe.
The data reveals there's not much increase in the number of outbound tourists during the last three years. Singapore is the most favoured destination for Indian tourists, followed by Bahrain and Thailand. While Delhi International Airport tops the chart in terms of tourist arrivals, Mumbai International Airport sends out maximum number of tourists.
Domestic tourism is witnessing a dramatic growth. It registered 17.8 per cent growth in 2006-07, while it was merely 7 per cent in the previous year. The top five states in the domestic tourist visits were Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajastan - accounting for 73 per cent of the total domestic tourist visits in the country. On the other hand, it is Delhi that interests the foreign tourists the most, followed by Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. The Taj Mahal continues to be the most visited monument for domestic as well as foreign tourists, the Tourism Ministry report says.