Kerala registers healthy increase in tourist footfalls

Chandigarh: Kerala registered a healthy increase in domestic and foreign tourist arrivals last year because of initiatives launched by the state government, a tourism department official said here Friday.

"We have achieved 11.39 per cent increase in domestic tourist arrivals and 5.15 per cent increase in international tourist arrivals in 2017 compared to previous year," Nandakumar K P, joint director, Department of Tourism, Kerala, said during a programme organised to promote Kerala Tourism.

He said domestic tourist arrivals last year was 1.47 crore, while 10.38 lakh foreign tourists visited the state.

To reach out to the domestic market, a string of partnership meets are being organised in Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Kolkata, Patna and New Delhi in the first quarter of 2018.

"Such meets provide an opportunity for the tourism trade in the respective cities to interact, establish contact and develop business relationship with a cross-section of tourism industry players from Kerala," he said.

"Kerala offers the much-needed succour and adrenaline rush to adventure-seeking travellers. Kayaking, trekking, paragliding, river rafting are a few activities that form a part of the Eco-Adventure package," he said.

Nandakumar said Kerala is gearing up to welcome every kind of traveller with the fifth edition of the Kerala Blog Express, a unique social media outreach that brings together international bloggers and influencers.

Kerala Blog Express starts on March 12, he added.

Scheduled in the middle of this year is a major B2B event, the Kerala Travel Mart, which has over the years helped showcase Kerala to the world.

"The event brings the business fraternity and the entrepreneurs behind Keralas unparallelled tourism products and services, on a single platform to network and develop business. The 10th edition of this four-day event begins on September 27, which is also celebrated as the International Tourism Day," he said.

For art aficionados, the state endorses the dreamy lanes of Fort Kochi and a pilgrimage to the Kochi Muziris Biennale, which has changed the landscape of contemporary Indian art today and has helped make Kochi, the art capital of India, he said.

For history buffs, theres the Muziris Heritage Project. The remains of a once thriving port offering pepper, gold, silk and ivory, frequented by Arabs, Romans, Egyptians as early as the 1st century BC is today preserved across 25 museums as the largest heritage conservation project in India.

Another offering in the historical space is the Spice Route Project that rekindles the 2000-year-old ancient sea links and shared cultural legacies with 30 countries, he said.

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