North Indian states are cold towards foreign tourists: Survey

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) A survey conducted by BBC World News has revealed that Kerala is the favourite tourist spot among foreign travellers, while Uttar Pradesh (UP) is perceived as a state with negative attitude towards foreign tourists.

The study surveyed about 1,000 people around the world who have visited India and never visited India.

It highlights four things: Travel habits and behaviour of international travellers. How do international travellers see India? How much do they know about the country's attractions and tourism opportunities? Lastly, what draws them here or prevents them from visiting?, said a statement.

The research reveals that Kerala leads the tourism pack down south. The state is termed as a leisure destination with beaches and ayurvedic wellness resorts and spas.

Tamil Nadu is a close second among South Indian states with 34 percent of the respondents who visited India instantly recalling the state. There is reasonably good road connectivity within the state and it has tremendous potential to showcase still surviving and thriving examples of ancient Indian culture and heritage such as the Meenakshi Temple.

Karnataka is at number three with 31 per cent recall value amongst respondents who have visited India.

Next is Kolkata that is known to most international travellers as the home of Mother Teresa and Rabindranath Tagore. According to the survey, West Bengal topped the awareness charts among India's eastern states.

As many as 20 percent of respondents, who had visited India, instantly recalled West Bengal. And 19 percent of respondents who have not visited India also had instant recall of the state. British and American travelers were most aware of West Bengal.

According to the research, Gujarat ranks high as an investment destination, but it is yet to pick up as a preferred destination for international travelers, mainly on account of it being a dry state where liquor consumption is banned, says a recent survey conducted by BBC World News. Only one percent of the respondents had instant recall about Gujarat.

While some believe that Gujarat has good infrastructure and transport facilities, it is yet to promote destinations such as the Rann of Kuttch, Gir Forest and Gandhi Ashram, said a statement.

The travel survey says that North Indian states have negative attitude towards foreign tourists.

Uttar Pradesh is largely perceived as a state where locals have a negative attitude towards foreign tourists. It also fails on parameters such as safety, security, health and hygiene and emergency medical services.

Madhya Pradesh and Bihar too ranked low on a healthy attitude towards foreign tourists. There have been reports of foreign tourists being assaulted and harassed, the report said.

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