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With a newly founded Responsible Tourism Mission and Kumarakom bagging the prestigious Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Mart, London, it is no wonder that the New Tourism Policy unveiled by Kerala focuses in depth at sustainable tourism initiatives. The policy also forms a major highlight of this year’s domestic campaign. The revamped fare with an array of new tourism products was showcased at Bengaluru today.
“To ensure the accomplishment of an ambitious target of a 100% increase in arrival of foreign tourists and 50% in domestic tourists in five years, a tourism regulatory authority has been formed. This would help put a stop to any unhealthy practices and guarantee better intervention of the Tourism Department through scrutiny and a licensing system,” said Shri. Kadakampally Surendran, Honorable Minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, Government of Kerala.
Kerala, voted the Best Family Destination by Lonely Planet, the Best Leisure Destination by Conde Nast Traveller and winner of 6 National Tourism Awards in 2016, offers the much-needed succour and adrenaline rush to its adventure-seeking traveler. Kayaking, trekking, paragliding, river rafting are a few activities that form a part of the Eco-Adventure package.
And with the 5th edition of Kerala Blog Express, a unique social media outreach that brings together international bloggers and influencers just around the corner, Kerala is gearing up to welcome every kind of traveler. Kerala Blog Express starts on 12th of March.
Scheduled in the later half of the year, is another major B2B event, the Kerala Travel Mart. KTM, India’s first Travel & Tourism mart that has over the years helped showcase Kerala to the world, brings the business fraternity and the entrepreneurs behind Kerala's unparalleled tourism products and services, on a single platform to network and develop business. The 10th edition of this 4 day event begins on 27th Sept, which is also celebrated as International Tourism Day.
The State has already registered a remarkable increase in international and domestic tourist arrivals during 2016. While international tourist arrivals to Kerala during the year 2016 was 10,38,419 - an increase of 6.25% over the previous year’s, the domestic tourist arrival was 1,31,72,535 marked a 5.67% increase. The total revenue has also seen a whopping increase of 11.12% over the last year’s figure.
"Most foreign tourists flock to Kerala to experience its cultural heritage but what we are trying to showcase is the idea that our culture isn’t limited to performances on stage. It is ingrained in our way of life and the department is taking small but significant steps towards helping a traveller experience the richness of Kerala, be it our temple festivals, cuisine, rural crafts, folk forms or traditional and popular art forms," said Smt. Rani George, IAS, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.
A combination of a cultural feast of Kerala’s traditional dance forms and its attractive tourism products was showcased today. Dhrisya Thalam, a visual storytelling that showcases the various dance forms of Kerala was presented alongside, to unveil the village life and folklore of God’s Own Country.