Demonetisation did not have “any adverse impact” on foreign tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings as these segments recorded a “robust” growth in November when the drive was launched, the government today said, dismissing fears that the huge exercise may hit tourism. According to the tourism ministry, foreign footfalls saw a growth of 9.3 per cent at 8.91 lakh in November compared to 8.16 lakh in the month last year. The foreign exchange earnings registered a growth of 14.4 per cent at Rs 14,474 crore compared to Rs 11,431 crore in the same period in 2015.

“It can thus be observed that demonetisation did not have any adverse impact on the foreign tourist arrival and foreign exchange earnings which have shown robust growth over the comparative period last year,” it said in a statement. The government has taken steps to ensure “no hardship is faced” by tourists and the industry is not affected due to demonetisation, the ministry said, claiming that “government efforts have paid dividends” with growth in the figures.

In fact, the number of e-tickets sold during the 30 days after the move to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 was announcement on November 8 increased to 28,176 compared to 2,807 during the 30 days prior to the televised decision, witnessing earnings of Rs 181.49 lakh and Rs 3.10 lakh in the comparative period, the ministry said.

“It can therefore be seen that sale of e-tickets and earnings have increased significantly by 10 and 58 times respectively as people are buying tickets for ASI monuments online through cashless payments,” it added. Following the demonetisation move, there were fears that it may affect the tourism industry.