Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 20, 2004
Industry & Economy
Kerala's tourism revenue to top Rs 1,200 crore
Kochi , Feb. 19
AIDED by an allocation of Rs 74.25 crore in the recent State Budget, the tourism industry in Kerala is expected to sustain its growth during the coming year as well.
The Budget has also made an additional allocation of Rs 10 crore for marketing of Kerala tourism, Rs 3.5 crore for conserving the State's heritage and a sum of Rs 47.39 crore has been earmarked for developing tourism infrastructure.
So far, the State has had a good tourist season this year. The revenue from tourism is also expected to grow - from Rs 950 crore last year, it is expected to breach the Rs 1,200 crore mark this year.
This optimism in the tourism sector is based on a significant growth in tourist arrivals. The State has recorded a 30 per cent growth in tourist arrivals during the first nine months of the current year, as against a national average of 17 per cent.
Backed by sufficient budget allocation and surging growth in tourist arrivals the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation has said that Kerala is becoming a major investment destination for tourism in the country.
And the State has bagged a large number of awards for developing the tourism potential, KSIDC said. It bagged seven awards instituted by the Union Ministry of Tourism for the year 2002-03. Kerala bagged the award for the best tourism performing State and the award for the best tourism practices followed by a state government. The State's concern for the environment and wildlife was also evident in the awards that it bagged.
It got the award for developing the best eco-tourism products, for the best wildlife sanctuary and also an award for developing the most innovative use of information technology in the field of tourism.
Among the private sector players, the Marari Beach Resort bagged the best hotel award in the three-star category. Its promoter and Managing Director of the Casino Group of hotels (now known as `CGH Earth'), Mr Jose Dominic was selected for a special award for his pioneering effort in resort development.
The Malabar House in Fort Kochi was adjudged the best heritage classic resort.
The State's promotional and marketing efforts, infrastructure and human resources development helped it to bag the best tourism performing state award for the third time in a row, KSIDC pointed out.
Sustaining this momentum, the biennial meet, the Kerala Travel Mart, which showcases the tourism products and potential of the State is scheduled to be held between September 30 and October 4 in Kochi.
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