Kerala registered the highest growth rate in domestic and total tourist arrivals since 1996
Totalearnings from tourism pegged at Rs 45,010.69 crore
Recordingthehighest growth rate in domesticand total tourist arrivals in 24 years,Kerala attracted around 1.96 crore domestic and foreign visitors in 2019,registering a healthy growth of 17.2 per cent as compared to the figures in theprevious year. Thetotal earnings from tourism stood at Rs 45,010.69 crore, notching a robust24.14 per cent increase.
Thetotal number of tourists was pegged at 1,95,74,004, of whom there were1,83,84,233 domestic tourists and 11,89,771 visitors from abroad. In 2018, thenumber of tourists visiting Kerala was 1,67,01,068 (domestic tourists1,56,04,661 and foreign tourists 10,96,407).Thegrowth rate in the inflow of domestic tourists was 17.81 per cent while for theforeign tourist arrivals, it was 8.52 per cent.
Wehave bounced back with great vigour after suffering unprecedented floods andtorrential rains for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. This is thehighest growth rate since 1996. Our figures show that there was a very significantincrease in the footfalls from May 2019 and it prevailed till the end of theyear, an elated Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said. Weare optimistic about sustaining the growth momentum this year also but it willdepend on how quickly the world finds a solution to the problem of Corona virusoutbreak, he added. Ofthe 14 districts, Ernakulam attracted the largest number of tourists(45,82,366), followed by Thiruvananthapuram (33,48,618), Thrissur (25,99,248)and Idukki (18,95,422). Interms of statistics, Kerala registered an increase of 27.8 lakh domestictourists as compared to the previous year. Of this increase, Ernakulam districtrecorded 6.13 lakh, Idukki 5.62 lakh, Thiruvananthapuram 3.25 lakh, Wayanad2.55 lakh and Kozhikode 2.52 lakh, which were the significant gainers duringthis period.
Further,the number of increase in international tourists was 93,364 compared to a yearearlier, of which Ernakulam accounted for 34,057, Idukki 30,373 and Alapuzzha20,706 â€“ the three districts with significant gains. In fact, Ernakulamretained the No. 1 position with total foreign footfalls of 5.22 lakh (44 percent of the total foreign tourists to the state).
Also,the total foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism crossed Rs 10,000 crorefor the first time, touching a figure of Rs 10,271.06 crore and registering agrowth of 17.19 per cent over the previous year. Ernakulam alone generated Rs4,508.32 crore of the FEE, accounting for 43.9 per cent of the total foreignexchange earnings from tourism sector. It was followed by Thiruvananthapuram (Rs2,680.06 crore) and Alappuzha (Rs 1,003.37 crore). Interms of total revenue earned from the tourism sector, Ernakulam ranked No. 1with Rs 12,816.54 crore, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (Rs 8,700.12 crore),Thrissur (Rs 4,646.08 crore) and Idukki (Rs 3,984.4 crore). Smt.Rani George, Secretary, Tourism, said the huge growth in tourist arrivals inthe face of most adverse circumstances was achieved by an aggressive,multi-pronged strategy to woo back the visitors. Weallayed the apprehensions of visitors by holding roadshows in our traditionaland emerging markets. An important component of the roadshows was athree-minute video film, â€˜Human by Natureâ€™, our latest brand campaign thatshowed the state in a new light by creating symmetry between its people andnatural beauty. The upsurge in tourist arrivals is a testament to theresilience and vibrancy of tourism sector of the state, she added.
We were able to overcome the horrendousconsequences of unprecedented floods in double-quick time. The damagedinfrastructure was repaired swiftly, and we were able to send out a strongmessage to tourists across the globe that Kerala is ready to embrace them withits famed hospitality and charm, said Shri P Bala Kiran, Director, Tourism. Healso attributed the growth to a string of new tourism products, especially theChampions Boat League (CBL), saying it had the potential to transform Keralainto a 365-day destination.