State for better infrastructure in tourism: Minister

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Thiruvananthapuram, July1: Kerala Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan today informed the State Assembly that the government had taken necessary measures to create better infrastructure facilities for the tourism sector.

Replying to questions by Mr P K Abdurub (IUML) and others, he said the main problem faced by the state was shortage of sufficient lodging facility. Priority would be given to issuing licences to start more star hotels in Kerala.

Pointing out the shortage of 40,000 rooms in the state, he said the government would take immediate steps to create an additional 2000 rooms in the current year.

The Union Tourism Ministry had given its approval for starting 65 three star hotels in the state.

Though the state had registered a 18.41 per cent hike in foreign tourist flow to the state during 2007-2008, it was 3.16 per cent less compared to the previous year.

As part of attracting private investment in tourism, the government is providing ten per cent subsidy to investment in the sector and a subsidy on electricity tariffs.

The government would consider revising the tax system and electricity charges in the Home Stay institutions.

Mr Balakrishnan said the government was implementing ''Clean Destination Campaign'' through Kudumbasree and Ayalkootams in 70 important tourist centres in the state.

UNI

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