Domestic, foreign tourist arrivals go up in Kerala after floods
Thiruvananthapuram: Riding on a swift recovery from one of the worst natural calamities, Kerala has regained the pre-floods tourist footfalls, registering an impressive growth rate of 14.81 per cent in the second quarter of the current year.
There was an increase of 6,39,271 tourists (both domestic and foreign) during April-June this year as compared to the figure during the corresponding period in the previous year.
In the first quarter (January-March), the total number of tourist arrivals was 46,12,937 as compared to 43,18,406 during the same period in 2018, a press release said.
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.
Particularly satisfying for Kerala Tourism was the fact that it bucked the negative trend in foreign tourist arrivals in the aftermath of last year's devastating floods, attracting 1,82,320 visitors from abroad in the second quarter of the ongoing year, a growth rate of 8.74 per cent as compared to the same period in the previous year.
The total number of arrivals from abroad was 1,67,666 during April-June 2018.
Of the 14 districts in Kerala, Ernakulam registered the highest increase in footfalls with an increase of 1.71 lakh, followed by Idukki with 1.35 lakh.
The total number of visitors in Ernakulam was 10,70,613 as against 8,98,784 in the second quarter of 2018 while the figures for Idukki were 5,27,311 and 3,91,674, respectively.
Except Kollam and Thrissur, all the other districts showed positive growth rates in tourist arrivals.
As for domestic tourists, the number went up by 6,24,617 when compared with the figures of corresponding period in the previous year, an increase of 15.05 per cent, the release said.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the positive growth rate in tourist arrivals was achieved by a string of measures the government undertook swiftly to repair the damage caused by the floods to tourism infrastructure.
"We also launched an aggressive marketing strategy in both domestic and foreign markets to bolster our presence in the highly competitive tourism marketplace. The results are now there for everyone to see," he added.
After a span of nearly 10 months (May 2018-March 2019 except December 2018), the arrival of international tourists registered a positive growth rate.
Overall, there was an increase of 14,654 tourists during April-June 2019 when compared with the figures of 1,67,666 registered during the corresponding period a year earlier.
"This clearly indicates that Kerala has now fully overcome the negative trend in arrival of foreign guests, which was largely caused by the floods," the minister said.
Tourism Secretary Rani George said the domestic tourist footfalls in Kerala were back to normal by the end of 2018 itself, but the international arrivals showed negative trends till the end of first quarter (January-March) of 2019.
"This negative trend has now been reversed because of sustained efforts of the Kerala Tourism to allay apprehensions of visitors from abroad about the impact of the floods," she added.
Tourism Director P Bala Kiran said Kerala Tourism has been adding a range of innovative products to attract tourists from far and wide.
"We have now laid emphasis on adventure tourism and monsoon tourism, and it has started yielding heartening results," he added.
In fact, 11 of the 14 districts registered positive growth rate in foreign tourist arrivals during April-June this year as compared to the figures of the corresponding period a year earlier.
Ernakulam district witnessed the highest increase in foreigners' footfalls with a figure of 87,058, followed by Idukki with a figure of 12,409.