Tamil Nadu, UP And Maharashtra Beat Kerala, Goa And Rajasthan In Tourist Arrivals; Ranking Methods Upset ManyTourists at Baga Beach, Goa. (Representational Image) (Pic: Twitter)

Of all the Indian states, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra see the most domestic and foreign tourists, The New Indian Express reports.

This was revealed in the ranking index regarding domestic and foreign tourist arrivals in the country by the Ministry of Tourism. The index ranks states and Union Territories (UT) on their achievements in the tourism sector.

The ranking, done on Foreign Tourist Visits (FTVs) and Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) in India, are based on the All-India growth rate. It, however, reveals that the state of Kerala, which ranks at 17 in domestic arrivals segment and eight on the foreign front, has not lived up to its image of being ‘God’s Own Country’.

Director of Kerala Tourism P Balakiran said that the index from the Union Tourism Ministry lacked clarity on various counts. He said even Bihar was included in the top 10 in terms of FTVs, while Rajasthan, Kerala and Goa trailed the state.

Balakiran, while stating that various states had a substantial geographical area which had the potential to accommodate more people in a year, said the list did not reflect the reality of growth in the sector.

Giving an example, he said, some states did not include pilgrims visiting shrines such as Sabarimala and other domestic tourists visiting various pilgrim destinations in the country while considering the annual headcount, while numerous other states categorised devotees as tourists.

“The ranking will have an indirect bearing on tourism prospects of the states. The central government needs to consider the growth rate-based index as a reasonable criterion when considering iconic sites in many clusters of the country,” he said.

The Ministry of Tourism, during the 2018-19 fiscal, identified 17 iconic sites in 12 clusters for global-standard tourism development.

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