New Delhi: The US Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Trade Office (NTTO) that forecasts the international travellers to the US by origin countries said that the number of Indian travellers to the country has declined in the last eight years. Nearly 11.4 lakh Indians went to the US in 2017 which was less as compared to the number which went in the year 2016.

In 2016, at least 11.72 lakh Indians travelled to the US. The reason behind this dip in the percentage of Indians travelling to the United States because NTTO had temporarily suspended publication of overseas arrival “data due to anomalies in records received from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)”. Thereafter, the forecast with figures for 2017 showed a decline in the number of Indian travellers.

Prior to this, the decline in the number of travellers to the US was last registered in the year 2009. Back then, only 5.5 lakh Indians had travelled to the US. After that, the number of Indians travelling to the US had maintained an increasing trend till the year 2016.

However, the NTTO forecasts an increase in the number of Indian travellers to the US from 2018 to 2022. As per travel industry sources, the international travel from India is rising constantly at 10 to 12 per cent for the last many years.

The US Department of Commerce, in a statement, said on Wednesday: “US welcomed nearly 7.7 crore international visitors into the country who collectively spent a record-setting $251.4 billion experiencing the US in 2017, a 2% increase when compared to 2016… The number of international travellers to the US rose 0.7 % in 2017 compared to the previous year. Growing markets were led by South Korea (+17.8%), Brazil (+11%), Argentina (+10%), Ireland (+9%) and Canada (+4.8 %).”