The number of 'tourists' from Bangladesh to India has increased a whopping 133 per cent in four years. No other countries have recorded such a magnificent growth rate, according to tourism ministry. But interestingly, India's tourism industry is 'concerned' by this high number of Bangladeshi visitors.
In real numbers, as many as 4,87,397 tourists from Bangladesh visited India in 2012, which has increased to 11,33,879 in 2015. The highest percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during June 2016 was from USA (22.2 per cent), followed by our very neighbor Bangladesh (20.69 per cent), according to tourism ministry.
New Delhi based newspaper Indian Express on Wednesday said, ''Experts in the field terms this as a “matter of very much concern.''.
“Every year the number of tourists from Bangladesh to India keeps on increasing, which is a matter of concern. Interestingly, they are not booked with any of the tour operators for any site visit or something like that. Hence it is unknown to us that what this huge number of people do in the country,” Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators told Express.
The association has taken up the matter with the government but they are also clueless about the subject, he added.
Incidentally, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of tourists from Bangladesh between February and May this year.
The number of tourists arrived from Bangladesh to India rose to 5,24,923 in 2013. It ranked third in terms of number of foreign tourists after the US and the UK. In 2014, 9,42,562 Bangladesh nationals came to India and it moved up in the chart of countries which had sent most number of tourists, only after the US.
Jose Dominic,Managing Director, Casino Group and a tourism expert wonders about such a large number of tourists from Bangladesh as he is not aware of any tourism promotional activities India has done in Bangladesh
“In all probability these people come either for medical treatment or pilgrimage. Even though the number is large, in terms of tourism benefit, it stands negated. The major tourism markets for India are the US and the European countries,” he said. Emails sent to top tourism department officials did not elicit any response.