Upbeat about the increasing tourist footfalls, Kerala Tourism is focused on domestic travellers and is planning to ramp up “responsible or sustainable tourism” in the state to drive growth.
“We are now focusing on domestic tourists, which was 1.33 crore people during January-September 2022, from 45 lakh in the same period in 2021. The rise in tourism activities started growing after the Delta wave passed and normalcy returned in August last year and picked up momentum this year,” Kerala Tourism information officer Sajeesh N told PTI.
He said the state is expecting the last three months of this calendar year to witness a good hike in domestic travellers visiting Kerala.
“To attract domestic tourists we are looking forward to promoting the winter holiday season even in a bigger way in Kerala. We have chalked out a slew of programmes including festivals, houseboats, caravan stays, Ayurveda-based wellness solutions, adventure activities, among others,” he added.
To make the tourism sector inclusive and generate income, the Kerala government had six months back directed all panchayats in the state to come up with one tourism product or offering that will help in increasing the livelihood of local people and villages, he said.
“We are also planning to promote responsible and sustainable tourism, where people can go back to basics with minimalistic living and enjoying nature. The government is imparting training to local people so that it can improve their livelihood,” he noted.
He said, there are a lot of enquiries on people wanting to experience farming along with the farmers and live in villages to have first hand experience of the rural life and going forward Kerala Tourism is focused on developing this segment.
When asked about the foreign tourist arrivals, Sajeesh said, it has increased from last year as the flights resumed and in the first 9 months of this calendar year the state saw 2.06 lakh travellers compared to 29,412 in the same period last year.
However, the growth is likely to be limited as the international chartered flights are yet to resume in the state, he added.
In terms of the international source market of the state, Russia is at the top followed by Maldives, the US, Oman and the UK, he added.