news Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 05:30
The state of Tamil Nadu has emerged to become the biggest tourism attraction in the country for foreign and domestic visitors, according to the latest figures released by the Union Tourism ministry. A report in The Times of India mentions that Tamil Nadu accounted for close to 21% of all foreign tourists in 2014, which amounts to about 46 lakh people. With 32 crore people from within the country visiting the state in the previous year, the number is 25.5% of the total domestic tourism population. The southern state is followed by Maharashtra as a destination for foreign tourists, with 43.9 lakh visitors making their way there in the last year. The domestic tourism scene is also dominated by Uttar Pradesh, the state being the second in the local stakes, with 18 crore people flocking to it in 2014. The report also mentions that an increase of 13.3% was seen in the foreign tourist arrivals and 11.96% was the increase in the domestic scene in 2014 from the year before that. According to people within the travel industry, a majority of those coming in from overseas came to visit the temples in Tamil Nadu, and primarily the ‘navagraha’ shrines near Kumbakonam and Karaikal. Also popular are the six abodes of Lord Muruga. “Most of these tourists are from East Asian countries like Singapore, Malayasia, Australia and Sri Lanka,” said N Ravi, chief executive officer of Tour Boss, a travel agency. The report also mentions that Tamil Nadu, along with Maharashtra was a preferred choice for company meetings and seminars. “With more manufacturing and I-T companies situated in these two states, many foreign tourists visit these companies to participate in conferences,” said Ravi, also a former official with the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, to the TOI.