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Kerala Best Performing State in Tourism: ‘State of the States’ Study

In Travel
December 24, 2019

In a huge affirmation of its credentials to attract both foreign and domestic tourists, Kerala has emerged the ‘Best Performing State’ in India in the category of tourism, according to the 2019 ‘State of the States’ (SOS) study.

Kerala has also bagged top honours in the categories of ‘Environment’ and ‘Cleanliness’, outperforming 28 states that featured in the survey conducted on 12 key development parameters. The study was conducted by the country’s leading magazine India Today.

The parameters for determining the best state in tourism category included number of domestic and foreign tourists; funds spent on tourism promotion to tourist population; airports and railway stations per 100,000 people; registered hotels and five-star hotels per 100,000 tourists; and crimes against tourists per 100,000 tourists.

Despite consecutive floods in the past two years and the Nipah outbreak that adversely impacted Kerala’s tourism, the state netted revenues of Rs 36,528 crore from the tourism sector in 2018-19, registering an increase of Rs 2,874 crore from 2017-18.

“It is an extremely credible proof of the robustness of the state’s tourism sector that has also become a mainstay of its economy. Particularly satisfying is the fact that Kerala was adjudged third in this category in 2018. Now it is number one, which underlines the fact that the state has fast shaped up as a tourism powerhouse,” Kerala Tourism Minister  Kadakampally Surendran said, commenting on the SOS survey.

Kerala attracted more than 16.7 million tourists, including 1.09 million foreigners, in 2018 as against 15.8 million the previous year.

“Kerala has been making consistent and concerted efforts to peg up its share in the burgeoning global tourism. The last two years have been particularly challenging because of the catastrophic implications of unprecedented floods, but we were undaunted. If the challenges were unprecedented, the response of the state government has been swift and decisive. We have launched a string of new and innovative products to attract tourists from both inside the country and outside,” Tourism Secretary Rani George said.

Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said the latest study by India Today would help refurbish Kerala’s touristy appeal and give a huge traction to its efforts of wooing visitors, both domestic and foreigners. Kerala Tourism has regained the pre-floods (August 2018) tourist footfalls, registering an impressive growth rate of 14.81 per cent in the second quarter of the current year as against the figures of the corresponding period a year earlier.

In fact, the number of domestic tourists during the second quarter of 2019 increased to 47,73,739 as compared to the figures of 41,49,122 during the same period a year earlier, clocking a hefty 15.05 per cent growth rate,” he pointed out.