New Delhi: The number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country rose 5.2 per cent to 1.05 crore in 2018, according to the government.
The foreign exchange earnings through them also went up 9.6 per cent to Rs 1.94 lakh crore last year.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel said development and promotion of tourism is primarily the responsibility of state governments and union territory administrations concerned.
The Tourism Ministry provides financial assistance through Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes for development of tourism infrastructure.
In 2018, there were 10.56 million foreign tourist arrivals, which was an increase of 5.2 per cent compared to 2017. The number stood at 10.04 million in 2017, as per data provided in a written reply.
Last year, foreign exchange earnings touched Rs 1,94,882 crore. This is a rise of 9.6 per cent from Rs 1,77,874 crore recorded in 2017.
These figures are based on provisional estimates.
To a query, Patel said Nalanda and Bodhgaya are covered under the Buddhist circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan scheme.
"The ministry has identified Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya in Bihar as one of the sites for development under development of iconic tourist sites in the country," he added.