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Early January 2017: Spain, Israel, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and India - Tourism highlights in 2016.

In 2016, Spain welcomed 75 million foreign visitors - an increase of 10% from 2015 -, making it the third most visited country in the world after France and United States.

With more than 4 million foreign visitors in 2016 (+ 6% compared to 2015), tourism in Cuba reached a new record and could still grow further in 2017. Visitors to Cuba come mainly from North America (even if several legal restrictions in the United States have not yet been removed) and Europe.

In Israel, unlike most of the other countries in the Middle East, the amount of foreign visitors rose by 3.6% in 2016, to a record of 2.9 million visitors. The rise is related to an increase and a redevelopment of the budget for the promotion of tourism in Israel. Visitors to Israel come mainly from the United States, Russia and Western Europe. Israel has also sought to attract tourists from India and China.

In 2016, 6.6 million foreign travelers visited Brazil. That is an increase of 4.8% from 2015. The increase would be due in a large part to the Olympic and Paralympic Games which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

With 9 million foreign visitors, tourism in India increased by 11% in 2016. The increase was much stronger than expected.

Mexico welcomed 35 million foreign visitors (of which 40% from the United States) in 2016, an increase of 9% compared to 2015.

In 2016, Japan received a record amount of foreign visitors: 24 million (including 11 million from China and South Korea), an increase of 21% from 2015.

End of December 2016: India - Free SIM card.

In India, foreign visitors who have obtained electronically their visa may get a free pre-loaded SIM card valid during their stay in India as from December 25, 2016. The Ministry of tourism in India took this initiative in collaboration with BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, a public telecommunications company) and ITDC (India Tourism Development Co) in order to ensure a hassle-free stay to visitors.

The free SIM card will be issued at the counter of ITDC at Terminal 3 of the airport in New Delhi. It will be part of a welcome kit that includes also tourist maps and documentation on the tourist attractions of the country. Initially available to citizens of 113 countries, the Indian system of E-Visa has been extended this year to citizens of 37 additional countries.

8 February 2016: India - Toll free helpline.

The Ministry of tourism in India provides tourists with a toll free multilingual helpline which permanently 24X7 is accessible: 1800111363 or the short code 1363. National and foreign tourists may use it free of charge in case of need when they are in India.

August 30, 2016: India - Clothes of foreign women in India.

Mahesh Sharma, the Indian Minister of tourism, advised women visiting India not to wear skirts or other too light clothing. Those recommendations have been also posted in a welcome folder to foreign tourists. Due to the strong outcry following these remarks both in India and abroad, the Minister retreated from his comments later on.

Nonetheless, most Western governments recommend women who visit India to respect local clothing traditions and avoid being alone in isolated places, on a beach, in a taxi or public transportation as well as outside after the sunset.


Links

business-standard
central chronicle
daily excelsior
deccan herald
express india
hindustan times
kashmir observer
navhind times
news times
news today
the assam tribune
the kashmir times
the pioneer
the sentinel
the statesman
the times of india
the tribune
star of mysore

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