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India to host 9 mn foreign tourists

India is expected to receive a record nine million foreign tourists in the current calendar year, growing over 12 per cent from the eight million visitors last year.

The increased arrivals along with domestic travel have improved the occupancy of hotels. "We may reach around 9 million this year. A key factor behind the growth is the e-visa regime. It has now come into full implementation. It is a fact that it was announced in the end of 2014 but it could not have an effect in 2015 as initially it was done for 113 countries. Now, we have 150 countries. Moreover, there is always a reaction time between launch and use," said Vinod Zutshi, secretary, ministry of tourism. The rupee remains weaker, making travel to India affordable.

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