"And the foreign exchange earnings went up by 20.2 per cent. So my income from tourism from foreign tourists' arrival alone last year has been 27 billion dollars and if we convert to rupee terms it would come to approximately Rs 1,75,000 crore," Kannanthanam told reporters here.
He said the tourism sector is contributing 6.88 per cent to the country's total GDP, besides 12.36 per cent of the total employment in terms of jobs.
"I think our sector is doing very well. But am I happy with the numbers? No. I want these numbers to increase dramatically because India is an incredible place and we have everything for everybody. So we are trying to bring in lot more people," he said.
Responding to a query on tourist arrivals from Israel, he referred to Israeli Prime Minister's India visit and said both the nations are now having a close relationship.
"So we are hoping that much large number of tourists will come to India in future," Kannanthanam said.
He also said Israel is one of the favourite tourist destinations for Indians and very large number of people were going there.