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Thursday, Jan 29, 2004

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Domestic tourists throng Kerala: Survey

Sankar Radhakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram , Jan. 28

KERALA Tourism's efforts to attract more domestic tourists to the State appear to be yielding results. According to figures in the Economic Review-2003, prepared by the State Planning Board, a little over 55.6 lakh domestic tourists visited Kerala in 2002, registering a 6.27-per cent growth rate over the previous year. According to industry sources, this figure is likely to cross 60 lakh in 2003.

A major reason for this growth is Kerala Tourism's integrated communication and marketing initiative, targeted at domestic travellers, particularly the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) segment. Many Indian executives choose to combine a short holiday with a business trip to the State, says an industry observer.

What has also helped the growth of domestic tourism in Kerala is the State Tourism Department's decision to organise roadshows in a number of Indian cities including non-metros such as Nagpur, Pune, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Agra, he adds.

Meanwhile, the State has also witnessed an unprecedented growth in international arrivals in 2003, with the growth rate likely to be around 28 per cent. Marketing efforts in new markets such as West Asia and the Mediterranean appear to have paid off, says a senior tourism official.

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