The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has experienced a sharp rise in international visitor arrivals in 2016.
According to the latest data from the eastern state’s tourism board, a total of 232,000 overseas travellers arrived in Andhra Pradesh in the first eight months of 2016, 122% more than the same period last year.
The district of Anantapur, which houses the ancient temples of Lepakshi, was reported to be the most visited destination by international tourists. And in terms of source markets, Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, along with Middle Eastern countries, accounted for the highest numbers, although exact figures were not provided.
Overall however, international visitors accounted for only a tiny fraction (0.2%) of the staggering 97.8 million people who visited Andhra Pradesh in the January-August 2016 period. The state’s tourism board said the overall visitor total represents a 20% year-on-year increase, driven by rising number of business, education and pilgrimage travellers.
“The tourist arrivals in to the state is very encouraging and will motivate us to work harder to progress towards our endeavour of creating a tourism friendly environment in the state. Our focus on fast tracking projects will eventually enhance infrastructure and engagement at tourist sites,” said Dr Srikant Nagulapalli, the state government’s secretary of tourism & culture.