Kerala tourism expects sharp increase in arrivals this year

Coimbatore: With Kerala shifting into high gear with a new and assorted fare of tourism products, the state expects a sharp increase in domestic and international arrivals at 9 per cent and 11 per cent, up from 5.67 and 6.25 per cent in 2016, a tourism official of that state said Tuesday.

International tourist arrivals stood at 10.38 lakh and domestic tourists at 1.32 crore during 2016,generating revenue of Rs 7,749.51 crore and Rs 29,658.56 crore, Kerala Tourism Information Officer K S Shine told reporters here.

"With the State shifting into high gear with a new and assorted fare of tourism products, the arrivals are expected to increase considerably," Shine said.

He said the mainstay for international tourists are leisure trips and Ayurveda and added that with the upcoming greenfield Airport at Kannur, Kerala tourism intends to establish Malabar, sharing the boundaries of Coimbatore, Coorg and Mysore, as the new tourism gateways to Kerala.

To reach out to the domestic market, a string of road shows will be held this year in Mysore, Gurgaon, Amritsar, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bhopal, Vadodara, Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Nagpur, he said.

He replied in the affirmative when asked if frequent hartals in Kerala were affecting tourism, but said the tourism ministry has requested all political parties not to give calls for bandhs, considering the tourism arrivals.

To another question on the impact of prohibtion on tourism, he said it has had an adverse impact and that was why the Kerala government had lifted the ban.

However, political murders have not affected arrival of tourists, particularly from abroad, Shine said.