8% rise in Kerala foreign exchange earnings

Kerala TourismTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government has said foreign exchange earnings from tourist arrivals in the state stood at Rs 8,392.11 crore in 2017, a growth of 8.29 per cent when compared to the figures of the previous year.
Foreign tourist arrivals increased by 5.15 per cent while domestic tourist arrivals grew by 11.39 per cent during the period, especially at a time when the tourism industry suffered adverse factors like enhanced GST rates and allied aspects, an official release quoting State Minister for Tourism and Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran said here.
With growth almost doubling than last year, domestic tourist arrivals achieved more than what was targeted in the Kerala Tourism Policy, it said.
In terms of tourism revenue, total direct earnings from the sector grew to Rs 26000.33 crore from Rs 23098.15 crore, a growth of 12.56 per cent.
The growth figures point to the immense popularity Kerala Tourism enjoys beyond the state borders, Surendran said.
The total growth rate in terms of tourist arrivals in 2017 was the highest registered in the last nine years, he said.
Tourism Department Secretary Rani George said the new Tourism policy 2017 has set an ambitious target of increasing domestic tourist arrivals around 15 per cent

“Considering that increase in domestic tourist arrivals in 2016 was only 5.67 per cent when compared with the 2015 numbers, the rise in 2017 is encouraging. The percentage of increase of domestic tourists for year 2017 is the highest registered in the last nine years,” P Balakiran, Director, Kerala Tourism, said.
The release said there has been an increase of 53,451 more foreign tourists this year, with figures nearing 11 lakh while 12.72 lakh domestic tourists visited the state.
Taking into account the number of foreign travelers who arrived in Kerala, it said that tourists from the U.K. were first in number with footfalls seeing an increase of 16.35 per cent at 1,80,975 visitors. -PTI

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