Kerala Tourism Posts 11.3% Growth

Thiruvananthapuram, January 27: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Kerala tourism has grown by a whopping 11.32 per cent in the last season (2002), while tourism in the rest of Indian destinations had suffered a negative growth of 9.2 per cent, according to World Tourism Organisation (WTO) statistics.

From 2.09 lakhs in 2001, the number of tourist arrivals to Kerala has increased to 2.33 lakhs in 2002, Kerala tourism minister K V Thomas said, here, quoting WTO figures. Contrary to the world-wide trend, Kerala tourism was least bruised by the post Sept-11 travel-phobia, he said. In domestic tourist arrivals also there is significant improvement.

According to WTO statistics, the domestic tourist arrivals to Kerala has grown in 2002 to 55.68 lakhs from 52.39 lakhs. Following the stimulus of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) in Kochi last year, this season has also promised to show substantial growth, Mr Thomas said.

While it has been domestic tourists who had constituted the lion's share of the tourism revenues in earlier years, this time, it was the tourists from the UK, Switzerland, Germany and West Asian countries, who filled the State's tourism revenues.

In 2003, Kerala tourism will place thrust on developing infrastructure, Mr Thomas said.