Kerala eyes over 10% growth in tourist arrivals in 2015

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015,22:07 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | Kerala is eyeing over 10 per cent growth this year in tourist arrivals for which the state tourism board has lined up several new attractions like spice route, project Muziris, among others.
We have completed several projects which were rolled out this January, like the first phase of spice route, project Muziris, hop-on-hop-off boats in Kochi, sea plane, among others. In 2014, we received around 1.25 crore tourists, including both domestic and foreign travellers. With the launch of our new initiatives we are hoping for over 10 per cent growth in arrivals, Kerala Tourism Additional Director (General) Anupama T V said here.
Seaplane project, aimed at improving last mile connectivity by air across the state, will initially provide service to the priority circuit, including the three airports of Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut and the prime destinations like Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal, she said. Muziris project offers the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris, which makes a part of central Kerala, she said.
The hop-on-hop off boats service, started in 2014, and water taxis are first of its kind in the country available in the backwaters of Kochi and in the Spice Route project of Muziris.
Spice Route revival project is the two millennia-old spice route, that links the south western coast of India up to Europe, she explained adding that there will be museums & spice gardens, among other things, which tourists can visit.
Kerala Tourism Board is also planning to tap new overseas markets like China and the other eastern countries, she said.
Besides continuing to strengthen out traditional foreign markets like Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand, this year we are also planning to explore new destinations like China and other eastern countries, she added.
The marketing initiatives for the year 2015, are mainly aimed at value for money off-season packages targeting cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and, Surat.
The state has also lined up several cultural activities and festivals, like Nishagandhi festival of dance, to attract tourists.