Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The number of foreign tourists visiting Madhya Pradesh has increased more than thrice this year, as compared with 2021. Nearly 41,000 foreign tourists visited tourist spots in the state in 2021 whereas their number had crossed 1.35 lakh - a jump of almost 230%, this year, by November alone.
The number of domestic tourists has also gone up, though not on that scale. In 2021, 2.55 crore domestic tourists had visited the state. Their numbers grew to 3.07 crore by November this year. That means an increase of 20%. In total, the number of tourist arrivals in the state grew from 2.55 crore (2021) to 3.08 crore (up to November 2022)
The tourism sector in the state that was badly impacted by Covid pandemic seems to be on the recovery path, though the numbers are still far lower than in 2019, when no one had heard about Covid. In 2019, a total of 8.90 crore tourists had visited the state. Of them, 8.87 crore were domestic and 3.28 lakh were foreigners.
Madhya Pradesh is known for its wildlife and heritage tourism. The state has the biggest forest cover in the country, has 11 national parks and 24 wildlife sanctuaries. It is the country's Tiger State, Gharial State and Leopard State. It boasts of three UNESCO World Heritage sites – Sanchi, Khajuraho and Bhimbetka.
Following the Covid scare, the number of foreign tourists had witnessed a sharp fall as compared with domestic tourists. That may have been due to suspension of international flights. Their numbers fell from 3.28 lakh in 2019 to a mere 4,646 in 2021, that is, drop of almost 98.5%. In 2020, 96,000 foreign tourists visited the state.
According to MPTDC data on tourist arrivals in the state, places of pilgrimage are biggest draw for tourists in the state.
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