Kerala logs new high in domestic tourist arrivals in 2023

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 4 (IANS) In a new record in domestic tourist arrivals, Kerala attracted 2,18,71,641 domestic visitors in the calendar year 2023, registering a 15.92 per cent increase over the previous year, Minister for Tourism and Public Works P A Mohamed Riyas said here on Monday.

In 2022, Kerala hosted 1,88,67,414 domestic tourists, with domestic arrivals logging an increase of 18.97 per cent, compared to the pre-Covid year of 2019, the Minister said.

In 2023, Ernakulam district witnessed the highest influx of domestic tourists with 44,87,930 visitors, followed by Idukki (36,33,584), Thiruvananthapuram (35,89,932), Thrissur (24,78,573), and Wayanad (17,50,267).

Kerala also witnessed a healthy increase in international tourist arrivals with 6,49,057 visitors in 2023, compared to 3,45,549 tourists in 2022, indicating a remarkable growth of 87.83 per cent.

Ernakulam district was visited by 2,79,904 tourists from abroad, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (1,48,462), Idukki (1,03,644), Alappuzha (31,403), and Kottayam (28,458).

This all-time record in tourist footfall signified recovery from the devastation wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic but also a huge endorsement of the state’s high standing as an all-season experiential tourism hub.

“This is a testament to Kerala Tourism’s vigorous efforts based on well-crafted policy initiatives and meticulously implemented promotional strategies within and outside the country,” said Riyas.

As for the number of visitors from abroad, the minister pointed out that despite a significant uptick, it was still 45.45 per cent lower than international tourist arrivals before the onset of the Covid pandemic.

“The conflicts in some parts of the world also affected international tourism. Despite these challenges, there has been good progress in foreign footfall in Kerala. The adventure tourism events planned for this year will help us regain much of the lost ground. We are also working on plans to attract more tourists to the Malabar region,” the Minister said.

Responding to a question, he said cases of human-animal conflicts in Wayanad will not affect tourism activities in that district.

“More regulatory measures are in the offing to ensure the safety of adventure tourism activities. As part of this, registration and licensing will be compulsory for surfing training clubs and similar adventure tourism ventures. For this, a regulatory framework would be adopted,” said Riyas, who is also the son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.



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