About 1.59 crore domestic tourists visited Kerala this year and this is 19.34% higher than the same period last year, said Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas. There was also a massive spike of 116.25% in the number of foreign tourist arrivals this year, he said. Ernakulam attracted the maximum domestic footfalls of 22.18 lakh tourists, followed by Idukki (26.61 lakh), Thiruvananthapuram (25.61 lakh), Thrissur (18.22 lakh) and Wayanad (12.87 lakh). “The steady inflow of tourists indicates that this will be a record-breaking year in the history of Kerala Tourism, in terms of domestic visitor numbers,” the minister told reporters recently. As far as foreign tourists' arrival is concerned, Ernakulam catered to 2.04 lakh visitors, followed by Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki, Alappuzha and Kottayam.
Meanwhile, Thiruvananthapuram is all set to host the first Tourism Investors Meet on November 16 and it will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Hyatt Regency. It will have the participation of investors, business leaders and stakeholders representing the tourism industry from across India and abroad.
The Kerala government is also presently mulling the possibility of setting up a tourism university to tap the opportunities in the sector. The institute, which is tentatively titled Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), will train youngsters to work in the numerous segments connected with tourism in the state. The Kerala Tourism Pavilion had also won the 'Best Pavilion Award' recently at the World Travel Market in London. It was themed on 'The Magical Everyday,' celebrating the festivals of the state.