Kerala was the seventh most-popular destination among domestic tourists
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
exhorted citizens to travel more within the country, asking them, as part of a national
purpose, to visit Indian destinations to give children a sense of rootedness and a chance to rediscover the nation’s heritage.
Just how many citizens travelled to Indian destinations, and which were the most visited? And what about foreign tourists? Contrary to expectations, it was not seaside spots like Goa that Indian visitors thronged to: Tamil Nadu was the top tourist destination in 2018, both for domestic and foreign visitors. Goa was not on the priority list of Indian tourists; foreign tourists appeared more fond of it.
Similarly, despite a massive global campaign to invite tourists, Kerala was the seventh most-popular destination among domestic tourists. Despite its decrepit tourist infrastructure, Uttar Pradesh was second on the list of domestic tourists; the lure of the Taj Mahal, presumably, put it at the third spot for foreign visitors.
West Bengal scored higher than Rajasthan as a must-see for domestic tourists. And Bihar was a favourite among foreign tourists, presumably because of the Buddhist pilgrimage spots in the state.
But Tamil Nadu beat them all, and there has to be a lesson in this somewhere: maybe that if the road and overall infrastructure is good, more people will come visiting !
Sources: Annual Report, Ministry of Tourism, Parliamentary questions