According to Kerala tourism department’s latest figures, the number of foreign tourists booking flights to India and visiting the southern state has gone up considerably. From 659,265 in 2010, the figure has risen to 732,980 in 2011.

Figures floating in the Indian media indicate that a fair number of foreign tourists who book flights to India make way to Kerala, a premier holiday destination in the southern part of the country.

Fondly called the ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala witnessed a tourist inflow (both domestic and international) of 10 million in the year 2011 as compared to 9.2 million in 2010. The figures have come out from the stable of state’s tourism department.

The figure for foreign tourist arrival (FTA) in the state swelled to 732,980 in 2011, in comparison to 659,265 in 2010. On the other hand, domestic figures rose to 9.3 million in 2011 from 8.5 million in 2010.

The number of overseas travellers incorporating Kerala as a part of their travel itinerary after taking cheap flights to India in the last decade has witnessed a jump of 350 per cent. In the year 2001, 208,830 foreign tourists visited the southern state.

In terms of revenue, the state has seen a five-fold jump in the last decade.

Kerala’s tourism department has rolled out a cluster of promotional programs to increase the foreign tourist inflow to the state. For instance, the authorities conducted road shows in Gulf countries, focussing particularly on Saudi Arabia.

The department also gives special attention to the state’s northern Malabar region, an avenue which up till now was not fully explored. Kerala’s tourism department also launched ‘Know Bekal’, a promotional campaign for Bekal, a sea based tourism project near Kasargode.

The peak season for Kerala tourism is September–January (when cheap flights tickets and affordable holiday deals are tricky to grab), but now the industry is looking to market the state as an-all-season tourism destination.

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