Arrival of overseas tourists in India jumped 12.2 percent during the first quarter of this year, resulting in a 34.5 percent increase in foreign exchange earnings, according to data released Friday.

An estimated 1.66 million tourists arrived in India between January and March, 2008, against 1.48 million in the same three months last year, said the data released by the tourism ministry.

The resultant foreign exchange earnings were Rs.160 billion ($4 billion), against Rs.132.43 billion ($3 billion), showing a 21.1 percent jump in rupee terms and 34.5 percent jump in dollar terms, the data showed.

The data also showed that tourist arrivals in the country had steadily risen from 1.29 million in the like three months of 2006, while foreign exchange earnings have increased from Rs.111.41 billion ($2.51 billion).

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