The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has said Kerala’s award-winning “Responsible Tourism” initiative is a model for other tourist destinations to replicate….reports Asian Lite News
According to the Kerala Tourism Department, UNWTO has commended the work done by the state and is impressed by its model of responsible and sustainable tourism.
UNWTO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Xu Jing, congratulated Kerala for the its success.
“The projects can be included as part of UNWTO’s global programmes and the report can be a case study for other destinations. We are eager to strengthen our relationship and discuss matters of common interest,” Jing was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the state Tourism Department.
The UNWTO also invited Kerala Tourism to make a presentation at the Joint Commission Meeting to be held in Bangladesh in May and also at the UNWTO’s International Conference on Tourism Statistics to be held in Manila from June 21 to 24.
Kerala Tourism Director, U.V. Jose, presented the report on the Responsible Tourism campaigns at the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid.
The report included details of Responsible Tourism policies and practices implemented in the state and the campaign’s success.
Even though there was a dip in tourist arrivals after the demonetisation move, Kerala Tourism witnessed a 5.71 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in the 2016 calendar year.
Provisional figures from the Tourism Department, released here on Wednesday, showed that over 1.4 crore tourists came to Kerala in 2016, out of which more than 1.3 crore were domestic arrivals and around 10 lakh wee foreign visitors.
November 2016, a peak tourist season for Kerala, saw a half percentage drop in domestic tourist arrivals following the Centre’s announcement of the ban on high-value currency notes in November 2016.
It was observed that while the Tourism Department was expecting an eight per cent increase in arrivals in November, the decline effectively resulted in an overall decrease of 8.5 per cent from the estimates.
But the visitor numbers did increase in December 2016.
“Had it not been for the demonetisation, Kerala would have had a commendable increase in tourist arrivals. A setback to the tourism sector will have a significant impact on the economy. The continuous efforts by the government and private tourism partners helped Kerala Tourism withstand the demonetisation crisis,” said Tourism Minister KadakampallySurendran.
“Tourist arrivals in the second half of the year — from June to December — were higher when compared to last year but the projections of 8.5 per cent for foreign tourist arrivals and 7.5 per cent for domestic tourist arrivals were impacted by the Centre’s announcement,” said Kerala Tourism Director U.V. Jose.