Kerala has retained its status as the best tourist destination among States for a second year running, says a Nielsen survey.
Rivals Rajasthan, Goa and Karnataka have been left behind for the coveted honour, a spokesman for Kerala Tourism said here.
This comes close on the heels of God's Own Country's promotional ad film — ‘Your Moment Is Waiting' — featuring in the newest edition of Limca Book of Records.
In an affirmation of the State's tourist appeal, infrastructure and scenic grandeur, the survey says, “Kerala topping the list is no-brainer.”
The survey was conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Outlook Traveller magazine.
“The survey has come as a big endorsement for Brand Kerala. It will spur us to take it forward with many more new initiatives,” Mr T.K. Manoj Kumar, Secretary — Tourism, said.
This is testimony to our sustained efforts to promote the State Kerala and its tourism infrastructure, said Mr Rani George, Director, Kerala Tourism.
The survey also found Kerala as the second-best State for winter destination after Goa. Rajasthan and the Andamans occupied the third and fourth slots, respectively.
Two major factors for choosing the best winter destination, as in the previous year, were ‘scenic beauty' and ‘value for money.'
In the category of beach destinations, Kerala occupied the fourth place after Goa (South), Andamans and Goa (North). Kerala is followed by Lakshadweep, Orissa and Karnataka.
‘Sands/beaches' influenced the decision for the top choice as 88 per cent of the surveyed listed it among the important criteria and 33 per cent picked it as their chief criterion.
Another highlight of the survey is the coastal city of Kochi emerging as the sixth-best city for tourists after Jaipur, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
As much as 81 per cent of the readers surveyed considered ‘visual appeal' an important criterion and 33 per cent of them cited it as the chief reason while choosing the winner in this category.
‘Food and nightlife' and ‘facilities' also played a big part in the selection. Fort Kochi found a place in the list of 12 best heritage sites with a ranking of 10.
Kerala Tourism has in the recent past initiated a number of measures, including road shows, to drive tourist traffic from Europe, especially the Scandinavian countries, and Australia.