"The remnants of the port and the historic towns in North Kerala have been excavated and restored to a large extent as tourist spots," Malik, who was recently here to promote tourism in his state, said.
Of the 1.31 crore domestic tourists, 1.31 lakh was from Bengal alone, he said.
"We have seen a rise in number of tourists arriving from Bengal in the past few years. The number has drastically increased from 35,000 even a few years ago to 1.3 lakh in 2016," Malik said, adding that Kerala has set a target of 2.5 lakh tourist footfall from this state in the next five years.
The international tourist arrival in Kerala stood at over 10 lakh in 2016 and its tourism department wants the numbers to increase by 100 per cent by 2022, he said.
The development of the new tourist sites will draw more people to the state, he asserted.
"The Muziris heritage site is spread over a large stretch, encompassing parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts. People from different parts of the country and abroad will be able to soak in the rich culture of the region," Malik added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)