Mumbai: Considering the uptick in inbound tourism, Kerala is eyeing 7.5 percent growth in tourist arrivals from overseas markets in this financial year, with special focus on adventure, culture and Ayurveda.
"In 2016, January-September, we received 9,24,125 domestic tourists and 7,38,515 foreign tourists, which is 6.01 per cent and 5.61 per cent growth, respectively, over the same period of 2015. Overall the growth was 5.98 per cent till September, with 1.19 lakh tourists visiting the 'Gods Own Country'," Kerala tourism department tourist information officer Shine KS told PTI.
Overall in the financial year 2016-17, looking at the trend the state is expecting 7.5 per cent growth in foreign tourists arrival, while 6.5 per cent in domestic footfalls, he said. "Looking at the numbers from January-September, we are confident to achieve our target in FY17," Shine said. In the financial year 2018, he said, Kerala is looking at a rise of 7 per cent overseas travellers and 6 per cent domestic tourists.
He said, the percentage might look small, but is significant, as the Kerala government is promoting the state as a destination of responsible tourism.
He said with Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra being the two top source markets of the state, Kerala Tourism is now exploring new markets like Gujarat and the eastern parts of the country. "We are now exploring new markets within the country as we see a lot of potential in the domestic market. We are doing road shows in tier II and III cities, besides the metro cities," Shine added.
Similarly, among the overseas market UK, Germany and France are the top source markets of the state. "Besides strengthening the current overseas markets, we are also exploring other European countries and international markets," he added. To promote tourism, Kerala has launched 'Green Carpet Initiative' that focuses on a 10-point agenda intended to give a face lift to select tourist destinations in the state.
"We are focusing on infrastructure development of tourist destination to offer better holiday experiences. The 'Green Carpet Initiative' adds to it by emphasising on the need for community involvement in tourism development and ensuring security, cleanliness, hygiene and scientific waste management methods," Shine said.