New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) The tourism ministry has registered a growth of over 18 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals in the country in September 2017 over the same period last year.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) in India in September 2017 was 7.23 lakh as compared to 6.08 lakh in September 2016 and 5.43 lakh in September, 2015, according to a statement by the ministry.

“The growth rate in FTAs in September 2017 over September 2016 is 18.8 per cent compared to 12.1 per cent in September 2016 over September 2015,” the statement said.

Most tourists came from Bangladesh (29.65 per cent) followed by the US (10.24 per cent), the UK (7.04 per cent), Sri Lanka (3.98 per cent), Australia (3.50 per cent), Malaysia (3.32 per cent) and Germany (2.57 per cent), among others.

With almost 29 per cent share of FTAs, the Delhi airport remained the busiest followed by Haridaspur Land Check Post (16.06 per cent), Mumbai Airport (13.57 per cent) and Chennai Airport (6.56 per cent).

The ministry compiles monthly estimates of FTAs, including those with e-tourist visas, on the basis of their nationality and port, courtesy the data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI).

September 2017 also saw a substantial rise in the number of tourists arriving on e-visas.

“During the month of September 2017 total of 1.18 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 0.69 lakh during September 2016, registering a growth of 71 per cent,” the statement said.

From January to September this year, 10.67 lakh tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 6.75 lakh during the same period last year, registering a growth of 58 per cent, it said.

Most tourists with e-visas used the Delhi airport (53.4 per cent) as their port of arrival, followed by Mumbai airport.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.