Swine flu scare seems to have kept away many foreigners from visiting India as there is a downward trend in tourist arrivals.

India received 4,48,493 foreign tourists in October this year as against 4,52,566 in the same period last year, a 0.9 percent decrease.

A total of 4,023,088 foreign tourists visited the country between January and October this year as against 4,323,729 last year.

Attributing the negative growth to the swine flu scare, Tourism Minister Kumari Selja said, “Tourist arrivals is witnessing a downturn due to the swine flu scare. However, our forex earnings are going up these days.”

There is a 13.1 per cent growth in foreign exchange earnings in October as compared to the corresponding period last year.

Forex earnings in October this year was Rs 4,806 crores as compared to Rs 4,248 crore in last October.

“We have earned Rs 42,395 cr as forex till October this year as against Rs 40,712 crores in January-October period last year,” said a senior Tourism Ministry official.