20 pc increase in foreign tourists in Kerala

Written by Agencies | Thiruvananthapuram, February 26: | Updated: Feb 26 2008, 20:03pm hrs
Kerala recorded an increase of 20.37 per cent in the arrival of foreign tourists to the state in 2007, Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the state Assembly during question hour on Tuesday. Seizing on the encouraging results, the state had plans to market more beaches, especially in the areas which had not received due attention so far, he said.

Compared to the steady increase in foreign tourists, the rise in domestic tourists was about six per cent. The government's aim was to develop high quality tourism so as to ensure greater revenue from the sector.

Now, a foreign tourist spent about Rs 3,000 a day while on visit to the state. With creation of better infrastructure, this could be raised to Rs 10,000 a day per tourist, he said. The growth of water hyacinth and weeds in the backwaters and lakes, especially in Alappuzha District, was posing a serious threat to backwater tourism.

The government was on the look out for an effective method of ridding the lakes of the water plant as physical removal of them had failed to root out the menace, he added.