Tamil Nadu occupied the second slot in the country in terms of domestic as well as foreign arrivals by attracting over 18.77 crore tourists during 2012, a 34 per cent jump over the previous year, when it played host to 14 crore people.
Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh led the pack in domestic tourists with 20.68 crore arrivals, but did not make it to the top 10 States in receiving foreign nationals, according to an official statement issued by the Union Tourism Department.
Maharashtra was favourite among foreign tourists with 51 lakh arrivals, whereas it attracted 6.63 crore domestic visitors.
Tamil Nadu rose from the third rank in domestic arrivals in 2011 to second slot by replacing Uttar Pradesh, which has moved down from the first position to third with the arrival of 16.8 crore visitors
The top 10 States in terms of domestic arrivals are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and West Bengal. They contributed 84.5 per cent of domestic tourists’ arrivals in 2012. Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Bihar attracted over one million foreign tourists in 2012. The top 10 States attracted 90 per cent of total foreign tourists into the country.
Talking to The Hindu , the tourism department official said: “If Tirupati was the star attraction for Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Mamallapuram, Kancheepuram, Udhagamandalam, Thanjavur, Kodaikanal, Madurai and Rameswaram attracted both domestic and foreign visitors for us.”
According to him, most of the foreign tourists came from USA (3.26 lakh), Sri Lanka (3 lakh), UK (2.90 lakh), France (1.50 lakh), Malaysia (2 lakh), Singapore (1.9 lakh), Australia (1.4 lakh) and Cannada (1 lakh).
34 per cent jump in tourist arrivals compared to