Shimla, Jan 10 (Agencies): As many as 13 million tourists visited the hills of Himachal Pradesh last year as compared to 11 million in 2009, registering an increase of over 16 per cent in a year, said a State tourism survey.

The 2010 arrival number was 16.38 per cent higher than 2009 and 25 per cent up from 2008. Similarly, the number of foreign tourists increased from 400,583 in 2009 to 454,851 in 2010, registering an increase of 54,268 or over 13 per cent in a year. 

In 2010, the state saw maximum number of visitors in the month of June.

“As many as 1,703,757, including 47,735 foreigners, visited the state in June, 2010, while the second highest tourist arrival (1,486,074) was in May. The peak winter in December got 713,890 tourists, including 19,462 foreigners,'” said Tourism Director Arun Sharma.

In all, 3,903,721 out of the total 13,298,748 tourists in 2010 visited the state during the months of May, June and December and 3,350,187 tourists visited the state during these three months in 2009 and June got the highest share. 

Most foreign visitors came from the US, Britain, Canada and Australia. The famous hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Dharamsala, Dalhousie and Kasauli were preferred among both Indian and foreigners.