Ahmedabad Tops as Favorite Destination, Gujarat Tourism Overtakes Goa, Ranks No. 1 in the Country for Foreign Travelers

Gujarat has secured the first rank for the first time in the Indian State Tourism Survey, surpassing Goa. In 2019, Gujarat was ranked seventh among all states in the country. States like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Goa heavily rely on international tourists, but in recent years, the international demand for these states has decreased. 

On the other hand, Gujarat has seen a steady increase in the number of international tourists. The state government’s tourism department has developed an ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ portal to track the number of travelers in Gujarat, which compiles real-time data from over 110 major tourist destinations in the state.

Gujarat’s Tourism Soars: Foreign Visitors Triple in Three Years

According to data from the Gujarat Tourism Department, the number of foreign tourists surged from 5.95 lakh in 2019-20 to 17.90 lakh in 2022-23. Notably, Gujarat witnessed encounters with tourists primarily from Canada and the USA, who explored various attractions across the state. Gandhi Nagar, with its Gift Citycccc and Narendra Modi Stadium, emerged as a major attraction for multinational companies, contributing to the rise in foreign visitors. 

The tourism industry’s growth is attributed to dynamic metrics, emphasizing factors like security, human resources, and political stability. A report from the Ministry of Tourism reveals that in 2019, Goa hosted 9.39 lakh foreign tourists compared to Gujarat’s 5.95 lakh. However, over the past four years, Gujarat has seen a substantial increase, hosting 17 lakh tourists, while Goa only saw 1.74 lakh. 

Gujarat’s remarkable performance stands as a testament to its transformation, as it didn’t feature in the top 10 until 2015. The state government’s consistent efforts to enhance travel infrastructure have significantly contributed to this achievement, reversing the trend of lagging behind in tourism expenditure since 2018.

Gujarat’s Tourism Surpasses Goa’s: An Exemplary Achievement in Just Four Years

In a span of only four years, Gujarat has outshone Goa in foreign tourist encounters, hosting 17 lakh visitors compared to Goa’s mere 1.74 lakh. 

This significant achievement exemplifies Gujarat’s exceptional performance in the tourism sector.

According to the report from the Ministry of Tourism, in the year 2019, Goa hosted 9.39 lakh foreign tourists, whereas Gujarat welcomed 5.95 lakh foreign tourists during the same period.

Factors Driving the Increase in Foreign Tourist Arrivals in Gujarat

The influx of foreign tourists in Gujarat has surged due to various factors such as cultural heritage, infrastructure development, e-visas, and initiatives like Gift City. The introduction of e-visas, advocated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since his tenure as Chief Minister, has significantly contributed to the state’s appeal as a preferred destination. 

In 2020, out of the 17 lakh foreign tourists visiting Gujarat, nearly 4 lakh visited Ahmedabad alone. Gift City serves as a global hub for financial and technological businesses, attracting foreign tourists towards Gujarat.

Gujarat Ranks First in International Tourist Arrivals, Surpassing Goa for the First Time

In a notable achievement, Gujarat has secured the top rank in international tourist arrivals, surpassing Goa for the first time. With a staggering 17.90 lakh international visitors, Gujarat claimed the coveted first position, demonstrating its growing prominence as a tourist destination. 

This remarkable feat underscores Gujarat’s appeal to global travelers, highlighting the state’s diverse attractions, rich cultural heritage, and robust tourism infrastructure. Goa, traditionally renowned for its tourism, ranked twelfth with 1.74 lakh international visitors, signaling a significant shift in tourist preferences towards Gujarat.

State-wise International Tourist Arrivals and Rankings:

  1. Gujarat: 17.90 lakhs (Rank 1)
  2. Maharashtra: 15.12 lakhs (Rank 2)
  3. West Bengal: 10.37 lakhs (Rank 3)
  4. Delhi: 8.16 lakhs (Rank 4)
  5. Uttar Pradesh: 6.49 lakhs (Rank 5)
  6. Tamil Nadu: 4.07 lakhs (Rank 6)
  7. Rajasthan: 3.97 lakhs (Rank 7)
  8. Kerala: 3.46 lakhs (Rank 8)
  9. Punjab: 3.30 lakhs (Rank 9)
  10. Madhya Pradesh: 2.05 lakhs (Rank 10)
  11. Jharkhand: 1.92 lakhs (Rank 11)
  12. Goa: 1.74 lakhs (Rank 12)

Domestic and Foreign Visitor Growth Over the Years:

YearDomestic Visitors (in Crores)Foreign Visitors (in Lakhs)Total Visitors (in Crores)

In the span from 2019-20 to 2022-23, domestic visitors witnessed a substantial increase from 6.03 crores to 14.79 crores, indicating a remarkable growth. Similarly, foreign visitors also saw significant growth, rising from 5.95 lakhs to 19.58 lakhs during the same period. Consequently, the total number of visitors surged from 6.09 crores to 14.99 crores, reflecting a notable expansion in tourism activity.

Foreign Visitors Footfall in Key Locations in Gujarat (2022-23):

LocationDomestic VisitorsForeign VisitorsTotal Visitors
Ahmedabad1.41 Crores4.76 Lakhs1.46 Crores
Pavagadh98.54 Lakhs54 Thousand99.0 Lakhs
Somnath Temple97.66 Lakhs1.17 Lakhs98.83 Lakhs
Ambaji Temple96.50 Lakhs1.75 Lakhs98.25 Lakhs
Dwarka Temple71.30 Lakhs90 Thousand72.20 Lakhs

In the year 2022-23, Ahmedabad attracted a significant number of foreign visitors, with 4.76 lakhs recorded. Other notable locations like Pavagadh, Somnath Temple, Ambaji Temple, and Dwarka Temple also witnessed foreign visitor footfall, albeit to a lesser extent.

According to the Hospitality Portal, in February 2024, Ambaji Temple witnessed a significant influx of devotees, with a total of 23.26 lakhs visiting the sacred site. Other prominent religious destinations also experienced notable footfall, with Somnath Temple recording 5.49 lakhs, Dwarka Temple 4.1 lakhs, Pavagadh 4.04 lakhs, and Bet Dwarka 3.27 lakhs visitors during the same month. These numbers reflect the enduring spiritual significance and popularity of these revered places among devotees.

Analysis of International Visitors by Country

Other Countries9%

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.