The state Budget for 2024-25 has imparted a big thrust to Kerala Tourism which is on a resurgence path, making a substantial allocation of Rs 351.42 crores to carry forward the groundbreaking projects and unveil new initiatives in the key sector, Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said today.
It is significant to note that the budget, presented by Finance Minister K N Balagopal in the state assembly today, made increased allocations to scale up infrastructure in promising segments like convention tourism and heritage and eco-tourism that will generate more revenue and jobs across the state, Riyas said.
“The budget comes as a huge endorsement of the projects in tourism sector by earmarking substantial provisions for taking them forward to reinforce Kerala’s standing as a global experiential tourism hub and the most sought-after destination in India,” the Minister said.
The proposal to consider a low-interest loan scheme in collaboration with Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) to scale up tourism infrastructure, anticipating an investment of Rs 5000 crores will expedite growth. This envisages creation of an additional 10,000 hotel rooms in three years and world class convention centres to meet future demand, the Minister said.
The budget has also made allocations for improving standard of tourism facilities (Rs 136 cr), marketing (Rs 78.17 cr), heritage, culture and environment tourism (Rs 24 cr), Responsible Tourism (Rs 15 cr) subsidies and incentives (Rs 15 cr) Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (Rs 12 cr), skilling and professional quality improvement (Rs 17.5 crore), eco-tourism (Rs 1.90 cr) and Champions Boat League (Rs 9.96 cr).
An additional allocation of Rs 14 crore has been made for Muziris Heritage Project and Rs 2 crore for Thenmala Eco-Tourism Project. The budget also made a provision of Rs 20 crore for 24 guest houses, four Yatri Nivases and two Kerala Houses.
The budget has also proposed mini Marinas and Yacht hubs comprising Tourism Facilitation Centres including resting centres, restaurants, motels and places for minor entertainment activities in 4 tourist destinations, namely Alappuzha, Beypore, Kochi and Kollam.