Chandigarh | Kerala has witnessed a healthy increase in both foreign as well as domestic tourist arrivals, thanks to various tourist-friendly initiatives launched by the state government, a Kerala tourism department official said here today.
The foreign tourist arrivals in 2014 was 9.25 lakh, registering an increase of nearly 9 per cent over previous year. The domestic tourist arrivals were nearly 1.16 crore last year, registering an increase of about 8 per cent over previous year, K Rajkumar, Deputy Director, Department of Kerala Tourism said.
The total revenue, from the tourism sector touched Rs 24,885.44 crore in 2014, showing an increse of 12.11 per cent over previous year, he told reporters.
Foreign exchange earnings received by the tourism industry in the State last year were Rs 6,398.93 crore, which recorded an increase of 15.07 per cent over 2013, he said.
Rajkumar said that Kerala Tourism has declared the period from April 2015 to April 2016 as Visit Kerala Year and an array of activities are planned as part of it.
In the wake of the fresh initiative, Kerala Tourism will explore more new markets like China and Sri Lanka. Aggressive campaigns that target potential travelers in big traditional markets for Kerala will be conducted in the United Kingdom, France and Germany through trade fairs and roadshows, he said.
Rajkumar said that bulk of the foreign tourists which Kerala attracts come from United Kingdom, Germany, France and the United States while on domestic front, each year the tourists from states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi-NCR and Punjab visit the State, whose star attractions are its beaches, backwaters and Ayurveda.
He said that Kerala Tourism has also tied up with private carriers like Jet Airways and Go Air to promote the State’s tourism while talks in this regard were on with Air India.
On Vishu, our New Year day which fell in April, these two private airlines offered special cuisines from Kerala to their passengers. On upcoming Onam festival, both the air-carriers have in-principle agreed that their air-hostesses and other crew will be attired in traditional Kerala dresses and serve popular dishes from the state to passengers, he said.
Rajkumar said that as lot of Chinese tourists visit Sri Lanka each year, Kerala government is trying to tap this potential. Kerala is exploring the possibility of creating a new tourism circuit in partnership with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Kerala Tourism is also working out the details of mutual tourism packages as part of ‘Visit Kerala Year-2015′ an initiative to promote the state’s destinations, involving the stakeholders in the tourism industry, he said.
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