Indian state of Maharashtra ranked at top of the list for number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in 2011, revealed the Indian Ministry of Tourism. Almost 4.8 million tourists booked flights to India, and landed up in the state.

India’s western state of Maharashtra received the maximum number of foreign visitors in the year 2011 in the country, according to the latest report from India’s Ministry of Tourism.

Maharashtra topped the list with nearly 4.8 million tourists taking state-bound flights to India in 2011. Maharashtra is a major holiday destination of the country with several major attractions adorning the land. The state also appeals to the corporate travellers and global businessmen, being home to the country’s financial hub, Mumbai.

India’s richest state was followed by Tamil Nadu and New Delhi. The southern state of Tamil Nadu received 3.4 million people while 2.2 million foreigners booked airline tickets to New Delhi during the year. Temples, hill stations, beach resorts and UNESCO World Heritage Sites beguile travel buffs to look for cheap flight deals for Tamil Nadu. New Delhi, country’s capital city, is also a popular destination among leisure travellers. The city’s fascinating attractions and the lavish New Delhi International Airport continues to entice tourists to look for cheap flights to India.

The ministry also announced the number of Foreign Tourist Visits (FTVs) to Indian states/union territories was 19.5 million as against 17.9 million in 2010 and 14.4 million in 2009.

The figure of foreign arrivals in India posted a rise of 8.85 percent over 2010 as compared to a growth of 24.6 percent in 2010 over 2009.

“Our campaign Maharashtra Unlimited has been successful in reaching out to the globe. We lay emphasis on leisure tours, beach tours, rural tourism and heritage tourism among others. As Maharashtra is an all season-destination our next goal is to reach the topmost slot in the country in terms of domestic tourists’ arrival,” said Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister of Tourism.

The share of top 5 States for 2011 show Maharashtra at 24.7 per cent, Tamil Nadu 17.3 per cent, Delhi 11.1 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 9.7 per cent and Rajasthan at 6.9 per cent.

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