Nearly 44,000 tourists visited Punjab in 2018 thanks to initiatives launched by the Kerala government, a tourism department official said here on Thursday.
The southern state registered an 18 per cent increase in domestic tourists last year, the official said.
The state government has launched several initiatives for tourism promotion. The domestic tourists footfall in 2019 was nearly 1.8 crore, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year, Deputy Director, Department of Tourism, Kerala Government, Muraleedharan P, told PTI here on the sidelines of a marketing campaign event.
He said 43,940 tourists from Punjab visited Kerala in 2018 while 12,064 tourists from Chandigarh travelled to the state that year.
Foreign tourist arrivals in 2019 was nearly 11 lakh, the official said.
As part of the marketing campaign, Kerala Tourism is holding partnership meets in 10 cities across the country and Chandigarh was the sixth city in the lineup, with similar campaigns slated to be held in Delhi (February 18), Jaipur (February 20), Bengaluru (March 3) and Chennai (March 5).
This is a trade meet, which is part of a marketing initiative for the promotion of Kerala tourism. In Chandigarh, we brought with us nearly 40 hotel, resort, houseboat operators from Kerala, who interacted with trade partners from Chandigarh region, he said.
The tourism industry is a major contributor to the southern state's economy accounting for over 10 per cent of the GSDP (gross state domestic product) and provides employment to over 1.5 million people there.
Talking about various initiatives to attract tourists, Muraleedharan said the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art, will be held in December.
Another offering is the Spice Route Project that rekindled the 2,000-year-old ancient sea links and shared cultural and culinary legacies with 30 countries.
Besides, a global tourism meet called Kerala Travel Mart will be organised in September. For the past many years, Kerala has been an important tourist destination. The target for 2021 is 100 per cent increase in foreign tourist arrival and 50 per cent in domestic arrivals, he said.
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