The State Ranking Survey, a biennial publication compiled by HVS in association with the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), aims at analysing the state-wise potential of Travel and Tourism in India, and assessing the relative competitiveness of different states in the country. Historically, the evaluation has been carried out for 29 states; however, the split of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 has resulted in the addition of Telangana, increasing the tally to 30 states in this edition.
The Travel and Tourism industry is an integral part of the Indian economy. In 2013, the industry accounted for US$18.4 billion in foreign exchange reserves, becoming the thirdlargest foreign exchange earner in the country. In 2014, the foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism recorded a growth of 9.7% over 2013, crossing the US$20 billion mark.
Overall, the government has taken progressive steps for the industry in recent years with the introduction of the electronic visa scheme (e-Tourist Visa), formulation of a new tourism policy (a draft version of which was released earlier this year), creation of tourist circuits based on specific themes, and more. However, India still has several critical issues to circumnavigate in order to establish itself as a major destination for international tourism.
As per the Tourism Highlights 2015 Edition report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the total number of International Tourist Arrivals (ITA) worldwide was 1,133 million in 2014, of which the Asia Pacific region accounted for 23.2% and South Asia, in particular, captured only 1.5%; India managed to attract merely 0.67% of the world's international tourist arrivals, largely under penetrating the market.
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