August 2018
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8.29 percent increase in forex earnings from tourist arrivals in state
(Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 8, 2018): The state government on Wednesday said foreign exchange earnings from tourist arrivals in the state stood at Rs 8,392.11 crore in 2017, a growth of 8.29 percent when compared to the figures of the previous year.

Foreign tourist arrivals increased by 5.15 percent while domestic tourist arrivals grew by 11.39 percent during the period,especially at a time when the tourism industry suffered adverse factors like enhanced GST rates and allied aspects, an official release quoting State Minister for Tourism and Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran said on Wednesday.

With growth almost doubling than last year, domestic tourist arrivals achieved more than what was targeted in the Kerala Tourism Policy, it said.In terms of tourism revenue, total direct earnings from the sector grew to Rs 26000.33 crore from Rs 23098.15 crore, a growth of 12.56 percent.

The growth figures point to the immense popularity Kerala Tourism enjoys beyond the state borders, Surendran said.The total growth rate in terms of tourist arrivals in 2017 was the highest registered in the last nine years, he said.

Tourism Department Secretary Rani George said the new Tourism policy 2017 has set an ambitious target of increasing domestic tourist arrivals around 15 percent, "Considering that increase in domestic tourist arrivals in 2016 was only 5.67 percent when compared with the 2015 numbers, the rise in 2017 is encouraging. The percentage of increase of domestic tourists for year 2017 is the highest registered in the last nine years," P Balakiran, Director, Kerala Tourism, said.

The release said there has been an increase of 53,451 more foreign tourists this year, with figures nearing 11 lakh while 12.72 lakh domestic tourists visited the state.Taking into account the number of foreign travelers who arrived in Kerala, it said that tourists from the U.K. were first in number with footfalls seeing an increase of 16.35 per cent at 1,80,975 visitors.(PTI)

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