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Demonetization did not impact foreign tourists arrival, says govt

Demonetization has had no impact on the arrival of foreign tourists into the country, data released by the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday, showed.

According to the data available for the month of November, the number of tourists that came to India grew 9.3% to 8.91 lakh from 8.16 lakh in the same period last year.

The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) also saw a surge, rising 14.4% to Rs 14,474 crore in November from 11,431 crore in the same period last year.

“Demonetization did not have any impact on the foreign Tourist Arrival and Foreign Exchange Earnings which have shown robust growth over the comparative period lsat year,” the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.

It said that the government had taken a number of steps to ensure that no hardship is faced by the tourists and the industry is not affected.”

The government demonetized the use of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from November 8 which took out 86% of the currency (in value terms) from the economy, essentially creating a deep cash crunch situation. Indians were left with no option but to line up outside ATMs and banks to withdraw money within prescribed limits and even foreign tourists who landed in India faced trouble exchanging the currency at airports.

Foreign tourists took to e-tickets and cashless payments at Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) monuments. According to the data, in the one month since demonetization (November 9 till December 8) e-ticket sales went up to 28,176 from 2,807 in the previous month (October 9 till November 8). Sales of e-tickets garnered Rs 181.49 lakh in the period compared to Rs 3.10 lakh in the corresponding period.