Bihar more happening tourist spot than Goa?

Celebrated as the party destination in India, Goa appears to have lost its ‘happening’ tag to the humble Bihar. Data collected by the Union tourism ministry appears to indicate that Bihar attracted a larger number of foreign tourists in 2009 than Goa.

The government’s India Tourism Statistics report shows that while 4.2 lakh foreign tourists visited Bihar in 2009, Goa drew about 3.7 lakh losing its place in the top 10 destinations in India. Industry hands say that the economic downturn was largely responsible for the sharp decline in the number of tourists. Increasing number of adverse reports on the safety of women and declining law and order situation may also have been responsible for the drop in numbers. In fact states like Kerala and Rajasthan that have been hot international favourites have suffered the most in 2009 thanks to the global economic situation. While the number of foreign tourist arrivals dropped by 27% in Rajasthan from 14.7 lakh in 2009 to 10.7 lakh in 2008, Kerala saw 5.4 lakh tourists arriving in 2009. Andhra, that remains numero uno for domestic tourists, also witnessed stagnation with tourist arrivals increasing from 7.8 lakh to just 7.9 lakh between 2008 and 2009.

Delhi lost its place as the top ranking state in 2008 to Tamil Nadu that saw a 16.7% increase in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in 2009. The top 5 states in FTAs were TN (23.6 lakh), Maharashtra (19.9 lakh), Delhi (19.5 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (15.32 lakh) and West Bengal (11.8 lakh).

United States continued to send the maximum number of tourists in 2009 as it had in 2008. The top 10 source countries in 2009 were USA, UK, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Malaysia and Japan. These countries accounted for 64% of the total foreign tourist arrivals in 2009.