Kerala expects 15% growth in tourist arrivals in 2018

Kerala tourism is targeting up to 15 per cent growth in number of tourist arrivals in 2018. The state witnessed overall growth of 10.94 per cent in tourist arrivals in 2017. Domestic tourists were up by 11.39 per cent, while the number of foreign tourists increased by 5.1 per cent in the period.

“We are looking at an overall growth of up to 15 per cent in total number of tourist arrivals to the state in 2018. We are looking at a growth of 15 per cent rise in domestic tourists and 10 per cent rise in foreign tourist arrivals,” said P Balakiran, Kerala Tourism Director.

He also expressed hope that with the introduction of action plan under the Tourism Policy, which projects the state as a 365 days destination, tourist arrivals would shoot up in the God’s own country. “Earlier we were predominantly a winter destination, now we want to make it a year long destination. Secondly now most tourists come to South Kerala circuit… we want to start a new tourism circuit in North Kerala,” Balakiran told PTI.

Kerala Tourism is also planning to promote the state as an adventure and activity destination as now it is mainly seen as a leisure destination. “We are also betting big time on MICE tourism,” Balakiran said.

Kerala attracts domestic tourists mainly from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, AP, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and West Bengal. However, the state is also getting good number of footfalls from new source markets such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The traditional international source markets are UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland. “Of late, we have seen tremendous growth from three different areas — the US and Canada, the Middle East and South East Asia,” Balakiran said.