New Delhi, November 29: As many as 10.93 million foreign tourists came to India in 2019 but the number dropped to 2.74 million in 2020, while domestic tourist visits in the country fell from 2,32,19,82,663 in 2019 to 61,02,16,157 in 2020, the Ministry of Tourism said on Monday.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in China's Wuhan, spread to India and other parts of the world in 2020, prompting the government to suspend international flights in March that year.

"The number of foreign tourist arrivals during 2019 was 10.93 million, which decreased to 2.74 million in 2020. The number of domestic tourist visits in India during 2019 was 2,32,19,82,663, which decreased to 61,02,16,157 (in 2020)," Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. New COVID-19 Variant Omicron Forces UAE Expats To Cancel Holiday Plans to India.

Responding to another question, he said the Ministry of Tourism under its 'Swadesh Darshan' scheme has sanctioned 76 projects under identified themes. Identification, promotion and development of tourism is primarily the responsibility of the state governments.

According to the third Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, the tourism sector contributes around 15 per cent to the total employment in the country, Reddy said.

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