Domestic tourists put god’s own country on cloud nine

A record increase of 11.39 pc was clocked in domestic tourist arrivals to Kerala in 2017

Published: 07th February 2018 03:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2018 03:31 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Cyclone Ockhi might have left a trail of destruction along the Kerala coast but its impact was not felt in the state’s tourism sector, reveal the latest statistics of the government. After posting a dismal growth in tourist arrivals in the months of August, September and October, the state’s tourism sector bounced back and registered robust growth rate in November and December thanks to an increased inflow of domestic tourists. The growth rate in terms of domestic tourist arrivals in 2017 is the highest registered in the last nine years.

While an increase of 11.39 percent was recorded in domestic tourist arrivals to Kerala in 2017, compared to the figures of previous year, foreign tourist arrivals increased by 5.15 per cent. With domestic tourism sector witnessing an increase of 15 lakh new tourists, the state  achieved more than what was targeted in the Kerala Tourism Policy.

The new Tourism Policy had set an ambitious target of increasing domestic tourist arrivals by 50% by 2021 and also in doubling the foreign tourists by this period. This would require a growth of around nine per cent every year for domestic tourists and around 15 per cent for international tourists. Though the state performed exceptionally well in the domestic tourism sector, the growth rate in terms of foreign tourist arrivals were below expectations.

In terms of tourism revenue, total foreign exchange from the tourism sector increased 8.29 per cent to `8,392.11 crore compared to last year. Total revenue from tourism recorded a rise of `3725.12 crore and stood at `33,383.68 crore in 2017.

Foreign tourist arrivals: Not so rosy

On the foreign tourist arrival front, footfalls increased from 10.38 lakh to 10.91 lakh, an increase of  53,451 more visitors this year, with the total figures nearing 11 lakh. As per the numbers till July 2017, the growth rate has been high during the period, at almost 7.8%.  Meanwhile, the lowest growth rates were registered during August, September and October 2017, with negative growth of -9.05%, -12.62% and -3.14% respectively. Foreign tourists mainly focused and registered positive growth in T’Puram, Ernakulam and Wayanad districts, while districts like Kasargod, Kannur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kottayam, Kollam, Alappuzha registered negative growth in foreign tourist arrivals.


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