Thiruvananthapuram: Even though there was a dip in tourist arrivals after the demonetisation move, Kerala Tourism witnessed a 5.71 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in the 2016 calendar year.

Provisional figures from the Tourism Department, released here recently, showed that over 1.4 crore tourists came to Kerala in 2016, out of which more than 1.3 crore were domestic arrivals and around 10 lakh wee foreign visitors.

November 2016, a peak tourist season for Kerala, saw a half percentage drop in domestic tourist arrivals following the Centre's announcement of the ban on high-value currency notes in November 2016.

It was observed that while the Tourism Department was expecting an eight per cent increase in arrivals in November, the decline effectively resulted in an overall decrease of 8.5 per cent from the estimates.

But the visitor numbers did increase in December 2016.

"Had it not been for the demonetisation, Kerala would have had a commendable increase in tourist arrivals. A setback to the tourism sector will have a significant impact on the economy. The continuous efforts by the government and private tourism partners helped Kerala Tourism withstand the demonetisation crisis," said Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

"Tourist arrivals in the second half of the year -- from June to December -- were higher when compared to last year but the projections of 8.5 per cent for foreign tourist arrivals and 7.5 per cent for domestic tourist arrivals were impacted by the Centre's announcement," said Kerala Tourism Director U.V. Jose.

IANS