24,000 crore revenue for Kerala
Thanks to Ayurvedic treatments requiring a two-to-four-week stay, Kerala Tourism has garnered 24,000 crore in 2013-14. The average length of stay for an international tourist here goes up to 18.6 nights.
For 2013-14, Kerala’s tourism industry has witnessed a record revenue of `
24,000 crore, compared with `
22,000 crore the previous year. This was revealed by Suman Billa, Secretary, Tourism, Government of Kerala. According to him, tourism revenues make up for one tenth of Kerala’s GDP, and brought in foreign exchange
` worth 5,000 crore, the second highest after remittances.
We are adding new activities such as adventure, festivals, backwater journeys, and village experience to encourage people to extend their holiday
Giving details on the highend tourism that Kerala has been tapping, he articulates, “The focus has traditionally been on high-end tourism. We were targeting those who would spend more than US$100 on a hotel room per night. With the time of a traveller being limited, you have to get as much revenue as possible.” In the ‘classified sector’, Kerala has 60,000 hotel rooms, not including home-stays and other informal arrangements.
Ayurveda is the biggest draw for foreign arrivals and spending. Thanks to Ayurvedic treatments requiring a two-to-four-week stay, the average stay of an international tourist in Kerala is surprisingly high with 18.6 nights, among the highest in the world, he says. “It doesn’t matter that we have only a million international tourists, the important thing is to focus on increasing the length of the stay. So we’re constantly adding new activities such as adventure, festivals, backwater journeys, village life experience through Responsible Tourism, to encourage people to extend their holiday,” Billa said.
While in 1995-96, the US$100-plus per night category was only international, now domestic tourists, not only from the metros, but also from Tier-II and Tier-III cities, are opting for high-end tourism. UK remains Kerala’s biggest market. Surprisingly now, the US has emerged as a second market, he informed. With increased arrivals, the state will step up marketing through road shows and other activities there.
Tourism Secretary Government of Kerala