Taj-Mahal-in-sunrise-light Also Read - National Tourism Day in India: Did You Know These Facts About Your Own Country?

India has captured the imagination of many a foreign tourist for years. From the magnificent Taj Mahal which stands as an epitome of Mughal architecture to the serene backwaters of Kerala that define peace and tranquility, India has loads of attractions that appeal to the sensibilities of foreign tourists. So, it should come as no surprise that foreign tourist arrivals in India have been on the rise. In 2017, India has received a record high of over 10 million (1 crore) FTAs. This has translated to earnings of over $27 billion. This is great news for the Travel and Tourism sector which continues to grow. ALSO SEE India on the Look-out for Untraceable Historical Monuments Also Read - Top 10 spiritual getaways in India to reconnect with your inner self

Speaking to reporters in Kochi, Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam stated that the tourism sector has been doing “extremely well”, and in 2017 alone, there was an increase of 15.2% in the foreign tourist arrivals to the country. “And the foreign exchange earnings went up by 20.2%. So my income from tourism from foreign tourists’ arrival alone last year has been $27 billion and if we convert to rupee terms it would come to approximately Rs1,75,000 crore,” said Kannanthanam. According to him, the tourism sector is contributing 6.88% to India’s total GDP, besides 12.36% of the total employment in terms of jobs. Also Read - Wow! Visitors to get free entry in museums, monuments on World Tourism Day

Varkala beach in Kerala

Varkala beach in Kerala

The Minister was in Kerala to chair a review meeting between Railway officials and Kerala government on the development of railways in the state. He also briefly spoke about the popular pilgrim destination Sabrimala and acknowledged that central fund should be sanctioned for the Sabari Railway project to build the Angamaly-Erumely line.

With inputs from PTI