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.

TravTalk - India - - Front Page - MEGHA PAUL

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.

Su­man Billa

Tourism Sec­re­tary Govern­ment of Ker­ala

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