Kerala Targets at Doubling Foreign Tourists in Next Five Years
There was an increase of 5 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals since 2016.
In the next five years, the Kerala government is seeking to double its international tourist footfall. In 2017, the Indian state saw an increase of 11.39 per cent in domestic tourists and 5.15 per cent rise in foreign tourists compared to 2016.
Total foreign exchange earned from the tourism sector in 2017 increased by 8.29 per cent to Rs 8,392.11 crores, as compared to 2016. Kerala also expects to increase domestic tourism by 50 per cent in the next five years, PTI reported.
According to the government, every year, a growth of around 9 per cent is required for domestic tourists and 15 per cent for foreign tourists to increase the tourist footfall in the state.
“To ensure the accomplishment of an ambitious target of a 100 per cent increase in arrival of foreign tourists and 50 percent in domestic tourists in five years, a tourism regulatory authority has been formed,” said K Rajkumar, Kerala Tourism Deputy Director, reported PTI.
Rajkumar added that this will help guarantee better intervention by the Tourism Department through scrutiny and licensing system. Kerala has introduced Fort Kochi and the Kochi Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art that has helped make Kochi an art hub, he added.
The total revenue from tourism grew from Rs 29,658.56 crore in 2016 to Rs 33,383.68 crore in 2017. “This growth comes at a time when the tourism industry is suffering from adverse factors like enhanced GST rates and other issues. The growth figures point to the immense popularity Kerala Tourism enjoys beyond the borders,” the State Minister of Tourism Kadakampally Surendran had said earlier in February, IANS reported.
Domestic travelers to Kerala arrived mainly from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Maximum number of tourists came from Tamil Nadu, with 12.72 lakh visitors, followed by Karnataka with 9.33 lakh tourists, and Maharashtra with 5.47 lakh tourists.
Globally, the maximum foreign tourists came from the United Kingdom and there was an increase of 16.35 per cent in 2017 with 1,80,975 visitors. As many as 92,951 travelers came from the United States and 28,676 visitors arrived from Canada.