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Kerala Records Significant Rise of 10.94% in Tourist Arrivals
  • March 2018
 The year 2017 recorded the highest number of tourism arrivals in the past nine-year period, with a 10.94 % rise compared with the figures of last year. An increase of 15.54 lakh new tourists- domestic and foreign travelers combined - was recorded this year, with footfalls going up to 1,57,65,390 in 2017, as against 1,42,10,954 in 2016.

The year 2017 also recorded the highest number of domestic tourist arrivals in the past nine-year period, with the number posting an 11.39 percent rise compared with the figures of 2016. An increase of 15 lakh new domestic tourists was recorded this year, with footfalls going up to 1,46,73,520 in 2017, as against 1,31,72,535 in 2016.

Year 2017 saw the highest domestic footfall in Kochi City with a total number of 23, 05,627tourists visiting Kerala’s commercial capital. It may be seen that aspects such as MICE Tourism, Lulu Mall, Wonderla   water  theme park, the metro nature of Kochi city were those that brought in more domestic tourists to Kochi city. Meanwhile, the adjacent destinations such as Fort Kochi (2,02,535), and Maradu (98,047) also registered significant rise in domestic footfall.

The temple town of Guruvayur bagged the second place in terms of domestic tourist preference, while Thiruvananthapuram City marked as third. The fourth is Kovalam and fifth Kozhikode city, sixth Wayanad district, seventh Munnar, eighthKumarakom, ninth Alappuzha and tenth Thekkady.

Taking into account the numbers between 2013 and 2016, it has been seen that Guruvayur, which used to be the prime destination of domestic tourists during the past few years, fell in prominence, to the second slot this year. However, the pilgrim destination has been witnessing tourist arrivals of more than 20 lakh per year for the last four years. In 2016, the footfall in Guruvayur  was 2336394 which reduced to 2138632 this year. in the meantime Kozhikode city, fell to fifth position in 2017 and  Kovalam to fourth.  

The hill station of  Munnar recorded a footfall of 6,28,427 with an increase of 34.31 per cent over the previous year. Domestic tourists were seen increasingly visiting Munnar-in 2013 the number was 3,68,816 and it rose to 6,28,427 in 2017. Over the past five years, increase in percentage of domestic tourist inflow to Munnar increased by 70.39 per cent. In the meantime, Wayanaddistrict registered a footfall of 7, 11,546 with 25.08 percent increase over 2013, and the beach destination of Kovalam registered a growth rate of 41.42 percent over 2013. 

The increase in flow of pilgrims to Padmanabhaswamy  temple pushed up footfalls in Thiruvananthapuram city to 12,17,446, showing a growth of 18.63 percent over 2016. The growth rate is 47.04 percent over year 2013. 

Foreign tourist arrivals to Kerala have registered a significant growth of 5.15 percent during the year 2017, compared with the figures of the previous year. According to statistics compiled by Kerala Tourism, Kerala saw as many as 10,91,870 foreign travelers arriving at its famed destinations in 2017. This is against the total number of 10,38,419 tourists who arrived from foreign lands in 2016.

It has also been found that foreign tourists preferred travelling to Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts, while also opting to visit destinations like Alappuzha, Munnar and Wayanad.In terms of specific locations, both foreign and domestic tourists were found to have preferred Kochi city as a prime destination. Considering the foreign tourist arrivals, Kovalam came second in preference and Varkala third. The fourth  most preferred location was Fort Kochi, while the fifth slot went to Thiruvananthapuram city, sixth to Alappuzha, seventh to Maradu in Ernakulam, eighth to Kumarakom, ninth to Munnar and the tenth slot was taken up by Thekkady. Foreign travelers showed a liking for hotels and other accommodation units in Kochi city while they toured Kerala.

The trends throw up results which showed that Kovalam, which was the prime destination of international tourist till 2015, has been losing its charm in 2016 and 2017 over Kochi. Meanwhile, nearby beach destinations like Varkala and Poovar showed significant growth. 

Tourism India,India's Travel Magazine,Kerala, India.

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