Kerala achieves 25 per cent growth in tourism

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Kozhikode, Aug 11 (UNI) Kerala's tourism sector has fetched a revenue of Rs 11,500 crore during 2007-2008 fiscal, registering a 25 per cent growth over the previous year, State Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said today.

Inaugurating the Kerala State Institute of Hospitality Management, first of its kind in the Malabar region, he said the State had recorded 20 per cent hike in the inflow of tourists, both domestic and foreign, during the year.

The government had earmarked Rs 250 crore for various projects in the sector aimed at creating 1.2 million jobs, direct and indirect.

Underling the need for infrastructure development, he said efforts would be made to construct four-lane roads and railway tracks.

Mr Balakrishnan said initiative would be taken to construct four-lane roads if the Centre failed to sanction funds as part of its declared policy of ''responsible tourism'' aimed at the development of the sector.

He said a permanent structure for the institute, presently functioning from Yatri Niwas in the Government House here, would come up soon on a five-acre plot allotted by the State Industry Department. The Centre had sanctioned Rs ten crore for the Rs 15.65 crore project.

Presiding, State Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem said apart from a three-year B Sc course in hospitality management, the insitute would also make arrangements for higher studies in the discipline.

On the proposed Kannur Airport project, Mr Balakrishnan said preliminary works such as land acquisition were progressing well.

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