Kerala tourism back on track

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As for foreign tourist arrivals, the number increased from 14,489 in the first quarter of 2021 to 43,547 during the corresponding period in the current year, notching a significant increase of 200 per cent….reports Asian Lite News

Figures point out that Kerala tourism appears to have bounced back after the Covid pandemic as 3.8 million domestic tourists have arrived in the first quarter of 2022, marking an impressive growth of 72.48 per cent as compared with 2.2 million footfalls during the corresponding period in 2021, said Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas.

Riyas also pointed out that going by the prevailing trend, Kerala tourism is set to attract record number of tourists this year on the strength of its globally-acclaimed assets, new products and initiatives like caravan tourism and by exploring the unexplored destinations across the state.

He said Ernakulam district registered the highest number of 811,426 domestic tourists, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (600,933), Idukki (511,947), Thrissur (358,052), and Wayanad (310,322).

Five districts — Idukki, Malappuram, Kasaragod, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad — registered the highest ever footfall since their formation.

On the ambitious project to explore the unexplored destinations, he said the government will soon announce a ‘Destination Challenge’ initiative in association with local self-government department (LSGD) to identify at least one destination under each LSG institution.

The LSGs will be the main beneficiary of this project.

“Tourism clubs will be formed in college campuses as youngsters can effectively work together as volunteers in keeping tourist assets well maintained,” added Riyas.

As for foreign tourist arrivals, the number increased from 14,489 in the first quarter of 2021 to 43,547 during the corresponding period in the current year, notching a significant increase of 200 per cent. Thus, there was an increase of about 29,000 foreign tourist arrivals in Kerala during the three-month period.

The Tourism Department has also launched a WhatsApp chatbot ‘Maya’, which is a virtual tour guide

With Kerala coffers in bad shape and tourism being the only industry expected to bring in revenue, top Kerala Tourism officials are going forward with aggressive marketing and reached Oman and Bahrain to sell Kerala’s time-tested tourism products.

Detailed presentations on Kerala’s pitch to the Middle East were made as a ‘Paradise Four Hours Away’. New products and events such as Keravan Kerala (Caravan Tourism) and Champions Boat League were showcased.

Tourism-related activities in Kerala in 2019 of Rs 10,271 crore brought in precious foreign exchange. After the pandemic, the industry is slowly getting back on its feet.

The business meets were held in Muscat on Tuesday, and in Manama on Wednesday.

The Kerala delegation at these two road shows was led by AKS Srinivas, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, and VR Krishna Teja Mylavarapu, Director, Kerala Tourism.

Amit Narang, Indian Ambassador to Oman, and Piyush Srivastava, Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, attended the road shows in Muscat and Manama, respectively, as Chief Guests.

Srinivas said that the Middle East is a strategic market for Kerala Tourism in terms of tourist arrivals from June to August, which is the period of summer holiday there and the residents travel to cooler climes to escape the blistering summer heat.

Kerala’s monsoon is an ideal time for tourists from Gulf countries and many of them also opt for the state’s Ayurvedic and holistic wellness treatments during this time,” said Srinivas.

The business meetings in both the Middle Eastern countries saw successful interactions between Kerala Tourism trade partners in the private sector and buyers from Muscat and Manama.

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